So I just got back from interviewing for a job whose new job title is half of what my current designation is.
The hiring manager took one look at my resume and told me that he was apprehensive about hiring me
because the job I was interviewing for really didn’t match up with the other jobs on my resume.
Just for some context, my resume included titles close to senior VP and director
but what I told him is that ever since some recent incidents in my life I really had to re-evaluate not only what success looks like for me in my professional life,
but how reaching that success affects the rest of my life.
Both corporate jobs that I have worked, worked me to the bone.
I have pulled everything from a 15 hr shift to a 37 hr shift with being weeks away from home,
I was stressed. I worked all day and I spent my evening plotting strategies to climb that ladder.
Of course, those are all stories in themselves, but the important thing is that two years after leaving the high-pressure 9–5 work environment
and pulling myself away from the rise-and-grind mentality
I am starting to realize that success no longer looks the way that it used to for me
So later in the conversation when he asked me what my long-term goals are
I told him that my goal was just to find peace
Because all the way from my martial arts days to the times when I traveled overseas every week
I’ve been really good at all or nothing
and I’ve been really good at defining success by how much I could prove to others
But now I want to define success by how well-balanced my life is
and by the quality of the things that I spend my finite remaining time on
So yes this job isn’t going to pay me that bonus equity
I won’t have a great-sounding title or teams of people that report to me
but it does allow me the time and the headspace to come home every day
to sit down to eat without looking at my email or enjoy a drive to the beach with my family
It doesn’t drain me emotionally or mentally.
I don’t have to think about how to reword my sentences when I am letting someone go
or have the responsibility to manage someone’s work or reshape his decisions
or the late-night implementations that would have me stay over in damp hotel rooms 3000 miles away from home
My work isn’t going to spill over into the evenings
or run a continuous loop of “How-to” in my head
and although this has been one of the most complicated decisions I have had to make in my life -
to reprogram my mind that was used to defining success by money, a career, or a four-bedroom house
it has definitely been worth the peace.
So I just want to put it back out there in the universe
that if you are taking a step back in your career
because it works best for your mindset or emotionally or physically
or just better for you in general
It doesn’t make you any less of a person than you were when you had those 10+ direct reports or a bulging implementation bonus from the investment bank
or when you were chasing success or its mirage of a definition
Now I work and I still have goals and I am still very dedicated to what I do
but I am no longer sacrificing my personal well-being for a future that may or may not happen
and to prove things that I don’t need to prove
Start defining success in healthy ways in your life
and see it pay you back
in ways that enrich your life — Manifold.