Making Career Jumps Work
With the rise of LinkedIn as the professional social media, it’s easy to become afflicted by shiny object/next job syndrome. Someone has a new job with a fancy title, someone else has turned a side hustle into the next must-have experience. Another twenty-something sold their first startup. We’re continually bombarded with exciting new ideas to ponder and be tormented by when we scroll past only the enticing snippets of success.
So how, in this world of constant distraction, can an emerging leader know when to ignore the hype and focus on the current opportunity or make that big career jump to something new?
On Making Career Jumps work, I am joined by two of JumpCrew’s emerging leaders, Jarron Vosburg and Colin Pigott, with the hope of getting some answers. Neither of them started out working in sales yet they’ve both helped JumpCrew successfully develop relationships with many companies interested in accelerating their own marketing and sales efforts.
Vosburg has been at JumpCrew since 2017. Previously, he worked as an account manager for Ancestry.com and in public relations through XPRIZE, a Los Angeles area talent agency.
Pigott comes from a publishing background. He had worked on two local magazines and developed a series of Shark Tank-like pitch competitions. In addition to his work at JumpCrew, he also hosts “Creative Mornings Nashville,” in which creative professionals share their insights with the community.
“I Quit a Job Because It Was Springtime”: The Role of Timing in Career Jumps
People just out of school have a tendency to make rash decisions. Just ask Colin, who early in his career quit a job simply because it felt stuffy in his button-down office with the arrival of spring. “I didn’t know what my purpose was,” he says.
There’s also a tendency to objectify “the first job” as a place where one might wither and die. Vosburg admits that he felt “pigeon-holed” in his first post-college job and lacked the inner sense of responsibility needed to seize opportunities for change.
Both men had to learn their own limitations – as David would say “the extent to which they didn’t know what they didn’t know” — before they were ready to make the first big career jump. They learned to see the mastery of a new skill set as part of a larger trajectory, something they didn’t have the self-awareness to recognize at an early stage in their careers.
The Lure of the Side Hustle?
The gig economy poses a danger to people who may think that juggling 2 or 3 professional endeavors is the best or only route. The concept can be construed as “we can have it all and we are a failure if we don’t.” Meanwhile, we are putting long hours into jobs that may pay minimum wage or less if it’s your own business and you are trying to finance your ambition.
Vosburg can relate. At a low moment in his life, he was putting all his money into a startup he was trying to launch while delivering meals for Grub Hub to pay the bills. He was in love with an idea and didn’t take the time to look at things step by step. He lost sight of how the startup fit into the very clear picture he had of who he wanted to be. Now, he says, prioritization is the driving factor in his life. “If you look at the ‘wants,’ based on other people’s status updates, you are looking at a company that doesn’t exist,” he points out wryly.
Pigott agrees, with a caveat. “Creative Mornings Nashville,” his side hustle, doesn’t earn him any money. But he is developing valuable relationships with the guest speakers, and he has a passion for the program. A gig can be valuable, rather than a distraction, if it helps you attain your long-term career goals.
Important Traits for Making a Successful Career Jump
What does it take to make that first big career jump work?
First, you need to be self-aware. Vosburg and Pigott claim to be “intentional” in pursuing their careers. Even though both men made unfortunate “young people” decisions, they had a sense of the bigger picture and enough perspective to have a good sense of their career trajectory from the beginning. Thanks to that self-knowledge, they are in a better frame of mind to exercise and master new skills.
You also need a fair amount of empathy and compassion, particularly when working in a team environment. “Understanding what people need to perform their roles better makes you a better performer yourself,” Pigott observes. Vosburg, who admits that he needs to listen better, agrees. When you are listening well, you not only hear the words; you get the meaning behind them. That, too, is empathy.
Another essential trait they recognized for success is humility. This is especially true for young people, who can come off as arrogant or inflexible before they experience that first taste of failure. “I’m not perfect,” says Pigott, “and I can’t do everything.” With teams, there are also a variety of talents and weaknesses. It takes humility to realize your own.
JumpCrew is a leading acquisition marketing platform that integrates digital technology and sales solutions. We partner with companies and help you to accelerate your revenue by building awareness, driving leads, and converting sales. Whether your goal is to achieve greater brand awareness, to drive more customers to your service or product, or to improve sales support, we’d love to hear from you.