When I started this blog what feels like a million years ago, I had the dream day job – I was a video game and tech journalist with the biggest site in South Africa. It was a dream come true, where I spent my days writing about video games, traveling around the world to play video games, reviewing some of the latest and greatest technology and I even got to attend E3 and Gamescom. I always told people it was the dream job, even though the pay wasn’t great and it turned playing some games into a slog.
Then we realized that it was time to leave South Africa, and we moved to the States, specifically to Arizona. I was lucky enough to have awesome connections from working as a journalist. They gave me projects so I could transition into freelance writing work. I was able to work from home, and had all the flexibility of earning money while also picking my kid up from school every day and having time to record videos for my YouTube channel. At that stage, it felt like an ideal short-term solution.
But the problem with being freelance is that you have some amazing months of income, and some very scary, quiet months with little to no work. It’s terrifying and made me feel powerless. I thought about spending more time on this blog. I worked harder and harder on my YouTube channel.
Back to a Day Job
Eventually, I realized that I wanted to go back to a normal job. The kind I’d wear real clothes to, earn a steady paycheck and vacation days, and not have the highs and lows of freelance life. I also felt like I was ready to have a career path again – as great as freelance writing is, the most you can do is demand more money. You never get a promotion, you never advance, and rarely even get feedback on how you’re doing.
I wrote a little bit about the decision to go back into full-time work back in March, and I started a new job at a public relations company on the 1st of April. It was NOT a fit for me. I was miserable, pretty much from day one. I quickly realized that traditional PR is very different from what I had done before. This was pure media relations, with minimal opportunities to use my own creativity or ideas.
Still determined to learn the role, I worked hard and started seeing some success. I landed some fantastic media coverage for clients and had some great days working with lovely colleagues. But all I could think about was the time I told my boss that I was finding my way but wondering when I’d be able to be more creative and he responded that I could be creative once or twice per year. I burst into tears. Then I felt awful about being the kind of person who cries in a meeting with her boss.
It was good to know, though, that PR was not for me. I had always assumed it was – that was one of my first jobs while at university, and a component of my role at numerous jobs for years.
Instead, the experience made me realize that the part of those roles that got me truly excited was the content. Not just the writing, but the strategic part of it. The part where I’d determine which content was best, what writing needed to be done – whether I was the one writing it or not. I wanted to work in a role where I could be creative, where I could be collaborative, and where I could run wild with my ideas. I needed to find a company where I’d fit the corporate culture, where I could be myself. I became very specific about where I applied and honed my requirements with the help of a couple recruiters and some interviews with companies that weren’t quite right.
After three months at the PR company, I got a new job offer that I accepted.
Dream Job, Again
Starting at the end of July, I’ve been working as a content strategist for a little over a month. I absolutely adore my new job, my new company, and everything I’m doing.
I work at a company called Hypur. It’s a tech company that does payments, banking and compliance for the cannabis industry. I find it really unique because it was created by super compliant, traditional bankers but used in the wild and fun cannabis industry. It straddles both worlds and means that the content I work on applies to both industries.
The company has the relaxed, fun vibe of a start-up, but is established enough that you don’t see fear in the executives’ eyes when payday comes around. I have an amazing boss who I adore – she is super smart and funny. She and I can sit together and craft content, or brainstorm cool ideas, or share fun book recommendations. Plus she shares the light – when the CEO came into our marketing meeting to tell her that he liked a recent blog post, she told him that I wrote it and didn’t claim the credit for herself.
Speaking of the CEO, I feel like I interface with a wide range of people in the company. From the senior executives to my work husband in customer support, my fellow marketing teammates to people who work in IT or compliance, it is wonderful to be a part of something bigger again. There are fun people to have lunch with or get info from for content, or joke about Fantasy Football. (Yes, I joined our company Fantasy Football league. I’ve become that person.) Oh, and there are fantastic snacks in the kitchen.
I write tons of fun and interesting content. From blogs to promotional materials, social media posts to website and email copy, I am involved in a range of projects and writing. It is everything I was looking for, and more.
As a result, I’ve become one of those irritating people who love their job. You know, the kind who wakes up happy on a Monday morning, ready to go to work. People ask me how work is going, and I smile and gush for a while. I know I’m revolting, but I really do appreciate just how amazing it is to earn money to do a job that I truly enjoy.
I know that I’ve been really quiet on this blog. I didn’t want to share while I was still at the job where I was unhappy. It was weird sharing other parts of my life without mentioning work, and I didn’t want to talk about work while I was there. Now that I’m in a happier place, I keep thinking that I should blog again. It’s hard to find the time, though. I will try to take the time to blog when I can. I want to share more about Harley, our amazing life here, my thoughts about what’s happening in South Africa, and even some cool books I’ve read recently. Making new YouTube videos feels next to impossible since I’m never at home without Harley, but blogging is something that I can still do even when she’s around.
For now, I hope you all know that I am super happy with a dream job again. I’m thrilled about the work I’m doing each day, and about the career path I’m on. My family is doing well, and life feels like it’s on the right track at the moment. I’m SO glad that we moved here, and I’m excited about what the future holds for all of us.
Please let me know – have you ever worked at a job that wasn’t a fit for you? What would your dream job look like?