This blog post was inspired by an excellent article in the July edition of ELLE Magazine by Alexandra Jones entitled ‘Do you have to love what you do?’ I particularly like the quote:
‘Career decisions are not decisions about, “What do I love most?” but, “What life do I want?”’
Whilst I do not entirely agree with this statement I think that what it comes down to is live to work or work to live? Do you choose a career path based on what lifestyle the salary will allow you to have or on what you will actually be doing at work for at least 35 hours per week for a majority of your adult life?
The article looks at the necessary sacrifices associated with choosing a career path you love, namely:
- Having to complete unpaid internships
- Having to work several jobs, because one is unpaid, infringing on your social life
- Delaying career progression because it takes longer to get started
- Delaying personal achievements such as buying a home
However, I am of the opinion that if you are willing to make these sacrifices consciously, you will reap the rewards. I cannot speak for other industries but I know from experience that completing an unpaid internship in a Brighton digital agency propelled me into my career, all thanks to the Sussex Internship Programme. Whilst you do make lifestyle sacrifices at the beginning of your career, these can be easily recouped later.
I like to think that in the digital sector people have a little more flexibility when making this decision. Digital businesses are more inclined towards a flexi-time and remote worker models that can allow people to fit work into their lifestyle, for example still fitting in the school run or avoiding the more expensive peak train fares.
There are also a host of digital careers out there, whether you are primarily creative or analytical and as digital is an expanding sector there will be exponential opportunities for career development, growth and pay rises.
The article also says, quite rightly, that loving something does not make you good at it. An internship programme is mutually beneficial to the employer and the employee; both get a no obligation opportunity to determine whether the intern is right for the job. The intern should* be exposed to different work that they would be doing if they were a junior team member and will have a chance to assess the business and decide if they want to work there. The business will have the opportunity to test the abilities of the intern and make sure the person fits into the team.
If you are interested in finding out whether a digital career will allow you to love your job and work to live find out more about the ThoughtShift Academy and our commitment to finding and nurturing young talent into the next generation of Digital Marketing Architects.
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*This is written on the assumption that it is a structured internship programme, they should not be making tea and photocopying!