As a little girl, I was obsessed with hotels. There was always something so magical about it to me - how the room would be clean when you came back after a long day or that food could be delivered right to your door. I idolized Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel, and knew I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. Hotels just looked FUN!
At my college graduation, I was absolutely beaming when I received my Bachelor's of Business in Hospitality Administration. In only three short days, I was about to start my dream job as a Concierge at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Are you freaking kidding me?! This was a lifelong dream come true.
Fast forward to now, and you'll quickly learn from my bio that my career has taken many turns since my hotel days. From Human Resources to marketing automation and now mobile apps, I've definitely strayed away from where my younger self thought thought I'd be. Don't get me wrong - I still love stepping foot into a hotel and knowing a little more about how the magic is created behind the scenes. But even though I've made some pivots, the one thing that has remained true is I still follow the fun.
For me, there are three things that have stood out with every decision I've made in my career. The next opportunity looked fun, seemed challenging, and scared me a little. Essentially, this has been my barometer to decide a) to move on to something else and b) determine what that "something else" is. If more often than not*, my current role isn't feeling fun or challenging anymore, then it's time to seek out something new. If I'm not scared a little, I'm probably not learning. At that point, I reflect on what type of work energizes me (fun), enables me to learn something new (challenge), and pushes me out of my comfort zone (fear).
If I've realized one thing in my career, it's this: don't feel pressured to know exactly what you want to be when you grow up or even what the next step is. If I had stuck to the career path I had planned my entire life, I never would have ended up where I am today - living in Europe, working at one of the largest tech companies in the world, and learning so much more than I ever imagined. (And I'm much more aware of my strengths, so as much as it pains me, I'm confident in saying I also never would have been the next Samantha Brown.)
So follow the fun.
Follow what challenges you.
Follow the thing that seems a little scary.
You never know where you'll end up!