If you’re setting out to build a career for yourself, you should be willing to put in the work required. But that does not mean that it has to be a dull process for you. Try to make it as enjoyable as possible and savor every opportunity that comes your way. If you have to work at unrelated jobs before you settle for your ideal career, have fun while at it.
When 29-year-old Aishah Newson from Santa Monica graduated with a degree in entrepreneurship and kinesiology, she knew she wanted to do better with her life. She wanted to sample different careers and settle for the one that she loved most. However, this was never a dull process for her. She enjoyed every job she landed and strived to take lessons with her when she left. In the long run, she emerged more polished and ready to take on the world with all the experience she had earned in her career hopping years.
The Not So Clear Path
Even when you have a clear idea of what you want to be, it is not always straightforward how you will get to your desired goal. You have to work your way through the mess and be willing to get dirty and do the hard work. However, all it takes is the determination to earn your place and the will to keep pushing even when there’s no clarity.
For Newson, the journey to becoming a data scientist was not a clear path. Maybe it would have been if she followed her mother’s advice to pursue a career in math or coding. But, who ever listens to their mother? Newson focused on career hopping for several years, trying to find a home for her curious soul. In her words, “Once I moved to LA, I began trying several different careers paths. I truly spent most of my 20s trying something different every year from a career standpoint. Some might say that’s reckless, I would say it was perfect for my curious soul.” Newson has seen it all in her quest for a satisfying career from sports analytics to finance and tech. However, she always knew when she was in the wrong career and was not afraid to make a move when the time came.
Don’t be afraid to start afresh or walk away from something, no matter how comfortable it is. Being stuck in a comfort zone can cost you a lifetime of enjoying doing something you love. If it feels too comfortable yet not satisfying enough, walk away from it. For Newson, this was never a problem. At one time, she landed a job with a sports tech startup company. It was a perfect 9-5 job, but it wasn’t what she wanted. She says, “I landed a new job working for a sports tech startup company. It was a standard 9 – 5 and I had my nights & weekends to do as I pleased. But I wanted to more, I didn’t think the job was challenging enough. So I began to dust off the old coding school and decided to go to grad school for Data Science.” See what she did there? She walked out of a comfort zone to pursue something she had long ignored. Now, she is the proud owner of a data analyst business, and she only hopes to grow to higher heights in the industry.
It’s Not Always Work
When you are in a satisfying career, it becomes easier to enjoy the things you love. Even when doubling up as a student and a business owner, Newson still finds time to enjoy her hobbies. She says, “I’m a fun & adventurous soul. In the summers (& really year around since I live in LA) you can find me hanging out at the beach or enjoying a cocktail at a rooftop bar. I love trying new foods and restaurants & I’m pretty into fitness. These days I’m boxing, playing tennis and cycling! I also love to travel. The next place I want to visit is somewhere in Asia or South America.”
Once you start enjoying what you do, you can plan your time well to not miss out on the things you love. However, if you’re stuck at a miserable job, you’ll never enjoy your leisure time fully.
Find Mentorship and Keep The Right Company
Starting a new career can be a daunting process, and it helps if you have people to mentor you. According to Newson, the data analyst journey is easier if professionals mentor you. She says, “Most people think it’s really hard to get into data analytics or data science. If you just consistently practice the skills and find some good people that can build relationships with and mentor you along the way then you’re good to go!” She also stresses the need to be in the company of people who can guide you when growing your business. Newson says that her greatest inspiration is from one of her friends who runs a business and is in the space where she sees herself in the future. Surround yourself with people who will build and support you.