Have you ever left a job, a home, or friends and family you loved to run towards a future that felt completely unknown? If so, you’re not alone. Two months ago, I left my career as a Worship Pastor to pursue a new adventure with my husband. He’d been offered a new job in a new area and after much discussion, we felt like this was the right next thing for our family. The hard part was I’d been working in the church as a leader and a creative for 12 years, and I adored the work I did. The thought of leaving that and starting over in something unknown and brand-new felt scary and daunting.
See, if you know the enneagram at all, I’m a 1. The perfectionist. I want to have all my eggs in the basket. Ready to go, with a plan. Set up for success and obviously low risk of failure. Here I was at almost 35 years old with no vision for what could possibly be next for me and no idea how my skill sets from working in the church would transfer over into the “real world” workforce. Was I too old to start over in a new career? *insert eye rolls here* It would take me forever to build up and be successful again in a new thing. Right?
This is where my good friend, Bre, came into the picture and planted the seed of trying out a career in Marketing. Marketing?! I lead people. I don’t sit behind a computer. I’ve never worked in marketing. Where do I start? Don’t you need a degree for that? Here has been the coolest part: much of what I did as a creative and a leader – writing, communicating, vision casting, editing, design, working in a team environment, creating content, etc – has beautifully transferred over into the marketing arena.
Now, I won’t lie, there has been a ton of self-learning involved as I teach myself new tools and systems, how to best create content for social media and blog posts, how to run analytics, website building and so on, but I’ve seen so much of what I did in my previous career coming through in my current position. Marketing is not what I thought it would be. It’s overflowing with creative potential. And I get to be a part of an incredible team here at Carlson Integrated. These women have come alongside me and helped me learn and grow and fail and get back up and try again and grow some more.
One of the most exciting things for me as I think about partnering with the clients we serve is being able to do what I’ve been passionate about for many years. I get to hear stories and respond to those stories by researching, creating and communicating content around our client’s vision for what they want their business to be and the people they want to reach. I get to add value to people’s lives, use my (written) words to speak life, spark some emotion in the content I create, and draw people in to be a part of something great. I also get to do some mindless administrative work but let’s be real, there will always be aspects of a job that you don’t find super exciting.
Has starting over in a new career, in a new place, with a lot of loss and unknowns been hard? Yes. But I’m relearning this incredible lesson: I can do hard things. YOU can do hard things. The secret to resilience and perseverance is learning how to lose well – learning to bounce back from disappointment – undeterred – and continuing to steadily march toward your purpose. Marketing was an unexpected blessing that came into my life at just the right time and I’m so grateful Bekah took a chance on me because I get to do something that is stretching me, giving this Creative an outlet and has been so life-giving, hopefully not only to myself but also to those I get to partner with. I can truly say now that I love Marketing!