Well, after weeks of looking at jobs and ruminating on what I’d want to pursue, I finally broke the ice and applied to a couple of full-time jobs. I realized I had been paralyzed by the uncertainty of which path I’d most enjoy. But then I reminded myself that just because I apply for a job doesn’t mean I ultimately have to take it.
So, I’ve decided to cast my net wide and apply to any job that interests me — whether it be in my previous field or something new. And it’s been fascinating to reflect on the roles I’ve gravitated towards.
Finding something new in my old field
When it comes to opportunities related to my previous marketing career, I’m not pursuing the exact same type roles I was in before; I’m still set on that work not being the right fit for me at this time. But I have found myself drawn to more communications-focused roles. In particular, I seem interested in:
- Creative writing: In my last job at Facebook, I had to do a lot of writing; however, it was business and technical writing, which I found pretty boring. In searching for new opportunities, I have been interested in roles that revolve around more creative writing — whether that be writing social media copy for a fun brand with an interesting voice or creating scripts and storylines for mobile games.
- Creative operations: I enjoy finding order in things. I enjoy creating plans and seeing them through. I actually have a lot of project management experience through my previous jobs, and it was always so satisfying checking off that to-do list and seeing everything fall into place. Even now, a lot of my work as a podcast producer involves organizing the team and managing logistics. So, I have found myself drawn toward roles that revolve around managing creative operations; in fact, one of the roles I applied to this past week centered around managing the logistics of the company social media channels.
- In-person communication: When I worked at the advertising agency, my favorite parts of my job were presenting at conferences and having in-person meetings with clients. I have been interested in communications roles that center around these types of face-to-face communications — preparing presentations for events and prepping speakers. While in-person events are obviously not happening at the moment, a lot of these are at least translating to virtual events.
Pursuing new fields
I also plan to explore opportunities in new industries; I mean, that’s been the focus on my whole sabbatical. But it’s been revelatory to see what types of roles and fields I am actually motivated enough to go through the effort of preparing applications for:
- Podcasting: I have mentioned time and time again in this blog that podcasting has been a surprising new interest for me. It was not something I set out to pursue at the beginning of my sabbatical, but it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences during this exploration and one that has probably helped me grow the most. I find that I really appreciate the medium and see such potential in the artform. In fact, I find it such an interesting space that I’m willing to start from the ground up just to get my foot in the door. Indeed, one of the other roles I applied to this past week was an entry level position, doing work I’m over-qualified for, but in the podcasting space.
- Livestreaming: I had already been interested in livestreaming as a medium but this ‘shelter-in-place’ situation has magnified just how powerful livestreaming can be to engage and connect people. We did a livestream event for the podcast, and I really enjoyed it. There is a role for a livestream producer — helping pitch, plan and moderate livestream events — that I plan on applying to.
Reflections and Next Steps
I see certain patterns and shared elements across the roles that I’m interested in, both in my previous field and new industries:
- Creative content
- Production and project management
- Engaging audiences
Being able to surface these factors will help me in my job search, as I can search for opportunities (regardless of industry) that center around these duties.
The process will be slow — it’s been a while since I’ve applied for jobs, and my resumes need a lot of updating. But I’m trying not to pressure myself; it’s ok if I just apply to one or two jobs a week. I want to take my time, being thoughtful and deliberate. Slow and steady wins the race.