As we enter the new year, Rachelle Harry reflects on her career change from journalism to communications, which has led to her being happier both inside and outside of her working life.

Author: Rachelle Harry

It’s that time of year. The end of one year, the start of the new one. New beginnings often cause us to reflect and think about how we could change our life for the better.

Many people focus on health kicks at this time of year, but I wanted to shed light on the importance of being happy at work.

The vast majority of us spend a significant amount of time in our lives working. So, if you’re looking to change your life – and your job isn’t hitting the spot – then switching careers could be a good place to start.

As corny as it sounds, I ‘recently’ (well, 14 months ago) changed careers and can safely say that my life – both at work and outside of it – is more enjoyable.

No regrets

In my early twenties, I followed my ‘dream’ by turning my love of reading and writing into a career as a B2B magazine journalist and online news editor. During this career, I travelled the world, made the most of the press parties, met and interviewed senior stakeholders and found it satisfying to spot the scoops – often hidden in plain sight.

It was great, but after eight years, I felt that the increased emphasis on online had changed my role as a journalist to the point where it no longer gave me the satisfaction it once had.

Meanwhile, I had also enhanced my existing skills (writing, interpersonal, reporting, creative thinking, social media, etc.) – and developed new ones (pitching, proactivity, researching and attention to detail).

Together, these developments left me feeling bored, stale and unhappy. In short, I had outgrown my role. I also realised that my knowledge (journalism; a commercial mindset from retail; and a Psychology degree – aka, a passion for figuring out what makes people tick) could be better used – and valued – in an entirely different career.

Take the plunge

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and changing careers, my advice would be this: do your research, make sure your skillset aligns with your new plan and keep going. Just like New Year’s resolutions – like the gym, for example – you’ve got to keep going to see results.

In my case, with no experience in PR, it took determination and perseverance to get my foot in the door. Yet only two months into my career change journey, it paid off. A recruiter connected me with AD Communications and the team thankfully saw the qualities I could bring to the role, rather than solely looking at my career history.

Find fulfilment

The AD team wanted to know about me and what makes me tick. In my knowledge and personality they saw potential, which made me feel valued and, later, a key part of the team.

Working at an integrated PR and communications agency like AD means no two days are the same. That’s exactly what I wanted; a varied role and working environment that is more exciting and fast-paced than my previous job. Throw into the mix the sense of reward I feel when helping clients to achieve their goals and I can confidently say that I feel fulfilled.

Now, I don’t dread work; I look forward to it, and I’m always in a better mood and mindset to enjoy myself during my time off.

So, no matter what changes you decide to make going into 2023 – whether they are health- or work-related – be brave, be committed, and be sure that they will make you happy.

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