I have a rather momentous update to share today. I’ll preface this (lengthy) post with saying I’ve mentally written it about 100 times over the course of the last several months and I’m so excited to actually share the news of the new chapter I’ve begun recently.
If you’re a longtime reader of wit & whimsy, you know that in addition to managing this blog, I’ve also worked in PR + marketing for ten years. I’ve grown my career at three different PR agencies – first in San Francisco and then here in New York.
In the course of my career I have thrived off of my professional growth. My career always came first. I was constantly seeking that next promotion, that next big account, that next contribution.
But the past year and a half at my job were, let’s say…difficult. But I let it be. I let myself stay in an environment that felt stale and like I had outgrown it. I also didn’t initially invest the time to think about how to really improve it.
So, when 2016 came about, I prioritized really thinking about what it was that I wanted out of my career. I started listening to podcasts about living with intention, doing the work you feel compelled to and I began to regularly seek out opportunities that would provide me with mental clarity so I could chart my course. I then finally sat down one afternoon and I physically wrote out what I liked about my job and then I wrote out what I didn’t like. What quite quickly came into focus was that I didn’t just need a new job but rather I needed a totally different working style and atmosphere. I wasn’t looking to leave my industry and I wasn’t seeking blogging full time. Rather, what I decided was that what I wanted was to be the master of my own career satisfaction.
I no longer wanted to feel reliant on senior leadership to make me happy. I no longer wanted just the gratification of telling people the big-name, recognizable brands I was working on. I no longer wanted to be working in an environment that didn’t make me feel challenged or inspired. Rather what I realized I really, truly wanted (and was desperately missing) was fulfillment.
Let’s define that for a moment:
I love that definition. Because what was missing from my job was developing my abilities and my character. I no longer fit at the company I had worked at for nearly three years. And because I was lacking fulfillment at work I was seeking it out in other areas of my life which actually ended up being great. I worked out more, I said “no” more to things to free up time for other priorities and I poured myself into blogging.
…And most importantly, I started to look at what a life as a consultant would look like.
Being my own boss.
Full-time self employment.
The more I researched it, the more the idea began to appeal to me. (It also terrified me but what life is one where you’re complacent? When instead you could take a risk and see what happens? You could leap and see where you land?)
I began to wonder what my life would look like if I 100% trusted my gut and decided to put my capabilities and skill set to work in a new manner. And put it to work for clients and businesses I am really excited to work with. That I’m intrigued by. Whose mission I am interested in and believe in. I decided that what I really wanted was to work with smaller brands that I could hopefully play a role in growing.
So, what did I do next? I got to work in my free time. I read countless books and articles on running your own business, listened to podcasts on being self-employed and most importantly, I started going on “50 first dates” with people who freelance & consult in my industry. The wisdom I soaked up was invaluable and following every meeting my gut was telling me this was a community I wanted to work within.
A major lesson I learned through charting this new course was that working for yourself takes bravery. It truly takes gut. It takes determination. And passion. And organizational skills. It takes an extraordinary amount of self discipline. It takes so much.
My to do list has never been longer and I’ve spent Friday and Saturday nights researching LLCs and lawyers and health insurance options, making lists of brands I want to work with in an ideal world, drafting a handbook of sorts for myself on how to be my own boss and countless hours networking with a really awesome group of people. (Some of you clever readers may have caught on via Snapchat the recent difference in cadence to my day and my content even these past few weeks…)
And with every step of plotting my next move, while there was fear hiding in a corner taunting me, I became more and more confident in my decision and what I wanted to do. I realized that choosing a life of consulting and working for myself was going to be the right next step. With this realization I suddenly was left feeling so much more energized. I was less stressed but more overwhelmed in such a good way. I felt empowered to set myself and my very own clients up for success.
You see, the thing about careers is that while having the right title is great, your career shouldn’t just be about taking jobs to build your resume. I think it should be more about doing the work that makes you feel fulfilled and alive. The work you will wake up excited to do. It exists out there but sometimes it can be A) hard to identify B) harder to choose.
Truthfully, I think, years ago when I moved out East, I thought I would move to New York, make the right connections and my “dream job” would appear. But it didn’t happen that way. And now, today, I’m grateful that I have the ability to create and continually curate my dream job. That makes me feel incredibly lucky.
Another key lesson I’ve learned over the past 10 years? No one will ever be as invested in your future as you are.
So at this point in my life I’m choosing to do something I’ve never done before by working for myself. I’m choosing to believe in myself. I’m choosing to work harder than I’ve ever worked and not because I have a job description from my employer. But because I want to work with clients for whom I really want to make a difference in their business. I’m choosing to move forward and invest in my passions. I want to have a better work/life/blog balance. I want to structure my day in a way that feels productive and meaningful.
Moving forward I’m choosing to do the work that people didn’t expect from me. I’m choosing the work that isn’t necessarily the traditional work I felt I “should” be doing. I’m choosing to not rely on others to make me happy or fulfilled in work. I’m choosing to reinvigorate my career and my aspirations. I’m choosing to stop continuing “what if?”
In all my research and reading in preparing for this next chapter, I came across someone who said “we don’t ever look at the downside of staying put” and it really resonated with me. I spent a year not looking at the downside of how my situation was keeping me down in my career and personal pursuits. By staying put I was sacrificing my creative brain power, my ambition and so much more.
So there you have it: I am now an independent PR and Influencer Marketing consultant.
I’m so excited to be on this new path forward. It has me feeling energized, inspired and so driven. I want to say a heartfelt thank you for continuing to support my pursuits through this site & in my life. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge what a formative role this blog has played in my ability to take this leap.
I’m one lucky gal to have many wonderful people in my court and I thank God everyday for you guys, my friends, my amazing family and the stellar community of people who have so graciously helped guide me to this point and provided me with so much positivity and support along the way.
I’ve got some really exciting clients and projects lined up but of course, if you know anyone that’s in need of public relations or influencer marketing help – I’d welcome a conversation! For all consulting inquiries I can be reached at meghan[@]meghandonovan.com. (And in continuing in the good news, I’m thrilled to announce I’ve brought on a stellar intern, Kate S., who will be helping me behind the scenes man both of the businesses. I am so excited to have her on board!)
So here’s to the next chapter and all that lays ahead….may you consider your passions and those secret gut instincts that tell you there may be something else out there. Explore them and just see…you never know where life may surprise you!
[And as an aside…in the past I have really enjoyed writing some career-focused pieces like this post. Would you guys be interested in more posts like that? If so, please let me know in the comments and would especially love if you sent me questions you’d like answered to help jumpstart the posts! meghan[@]witwhimsy.com.]