If you read last week’s blog post, you know Kelly is one of the lucky ones who loves her job.
At 25 years old, still in her first job out of college as the Sports Marketing Assistant at Monmouth University, she ranks happiness in her current job an 8 out of 10.
The reason her score isn't a full 10?
She knows she hasn't reached her full potential. After all she is only 25. Not only does Kelly spend long days working Monmouth University, but she is currently a masters student.
Kelly notes “I spend a lot of time just being at Monmouth. Completing grad school is going to give me additional free time and more time to focus on my job.” Additionally she says “I think it’s easy to take out any frustration or stress from grad school at work and vice versa.”
Importance of Job Satisfaction
Even though Kelly is pretty happy where she is now, she recognizes how important job satisfaction is. She is taking the necessary steps to achieve what she recognizes as the “career trifecta” having a job, loving your job, and making a practical salary you can live off of. From her experience and what she has heard from others, it’s hard to get a job period, much less in a field that seems to have any appeal. If you’re lucky enough to check both of those off the list, she has seen that there’s a pretty good chance you’re not going to make a livable salary for the first few years - hopefully. Kelly’s goal of finding that “trifecta” seems almost impossible and [she] believes “it is something very few get to cross off their list.”
Our favorite part of f Kelly's trifecta and finding a job you love, comes not only from the industry you want to work in but the company culture and people within the company too.
When asked about her perspective on this, Kelly explained “I believe that not only can people leave their boss and not their company, but people can also leave their company and not their boss. I have friends who have left their job because they didn’t like their boss but ultimately loved the company. I’ve also experienced some of my friends who loved their boss but were unable to deal with company standards, values, etc.” She’s learned along the way that everything is contextual, but you ultimately have to do what’s best for you.
You Must Take Risks to Find Your Niche
An inevitable part of finding a job you love is the risks you have to take to get there. Kelly is no stranger to risk taking when it comes to her professional future. When she changed her major in college, she knew she was leaving a secure job market for a field that as she puts it “insanely competitive with no guaranteed job”. She made this decision even after her parents, advisors, friends, and even roommates suggested against it, which was a scary one at only 20 years old. Kelly took this doubt and turned it into motivation, constantly working to build enough experience and skills that ended in landing a job that she loves and has been able to grow in.
Passion Over PayCheck
Kelly is one of our biggest fans here at TNM. While I write this piece on Kelly I am only a 19 year old college student and haven't even declared a major much less gained years of career experience. So instead of trying to reiterate Kelly’s perspective on our work here at TNM to you, I think it’s more effective to just lay it out straight from Kelly:
“I think The Niche Movement is literally so awesome and I am part of it because I was fortunate enough that Kevin O’Connell was my boss for an unfortunately a short period of time at Rutgers Recreation. When I met Kevin my junior year, I was still concerned about what I was going to do with my life and if this major was the right choice, and he did nothing but reinforce that I made the right choice. As I’ve gone through the years, I’ve recognized how hard it is to really “follow the dream. Kevin left Rutgers to pursue what he wanted to do and as a senior in college, that was so impactful and awesome to experience. I, in turn, followed suit to pursue what I wanted to do. I consider myself so unbelievably lucky to be in the position that I am, and every year I work with college seniors, terrified of having to ‘adult.’ I make my best effort to put those often, scary questions out there, like, ‘What do you want a career in and what are you doing to get there?’ I urge my student workers to pursue a career that they love because it’s worth it. Yes, I live at home still, yes, I ball on an incredibly hard budget, but yes, I absolutely love what I do.”
It’s scary, it’s high risk, but it’s so rewarding to choose passion over paycheck. Before The Niche Movement was “The Niche Movement”, Kevin was already inspiring young people to follow their passions in the same way he is today. He leads by example, he does what he loves and works hard at it. He is one of the main reasons Kelly is 25 years old and already has reached an 8/10 in career happiness. But Kelly is doing the work, taking the risks and she fully committed to her passion.
She is making sacrifices now in the short-term while being committed to what she wants in the long term: job satisfaction at a 10.