Optimize career for learning or responsibility?

Hello, this is Laura Lee Rose.  I am a speaker and author. I am an expert in time and project management.

I help busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life even if they don’t have time to learn new technology or train their staff.  I have a knack for turning big ideas into on time and profitable projects.

At the end of the day, I transform the way you run your business into a business you love to run.

Today’s comment came from a busy professional.

I currently work at a small web design agency with a team of 5. I’m the sole marketer where I do all digital marketing for clients.

This includes SEO/PPC, some social media, and everything else growth marketing related. I love the autonomy, the people I work with, and ‘owning’ the entire digital marketing role and department.

My only complaint: clients are really small (e.g., electricians, attorneys) and I’m itching for something more challenging and complex.

However, I am learning a lot. Work-life balance is amazing at the agency, allowing me to take on MOOCs and side projects where I’m learning to code.

Recently, a large public company offered me a PPC Analyst role where I’ll manage a 10MM ppc campaign. Glassdoor reviews mention poor work-life balance. My brief pros & cons analysis of take the job offer:

+ higher salary
+ more prestige and responsibility
+ learning, yes, but very focused on SEM in one particular vertical

+ 50-60+ work weeks
+ less time for MOOCs, self-study and side projects
+ possibility of low job satisfaction (culture, politics)

=== My question ===

What would you do? Do I continue working at the agency where I’m comfortable and can have the autonomy to master what excites me.

Or take the job offer with more responsibility and pay but at the expense of narrowing my career focus and skill-sets too much.

Like many professional in your situation, you seem to think there is only two options for you: Stay where you are or go to this possible low-satisfaction job.

There are rarely only two options to any situations.  So – why can’t you continue to search for a great job that fits all your requirements? Why can’t you be the one to define and propose more complex and challenging projects?  Why can’t you take a more active role in bringing in more high-profile clients?  Why can’t you present at various conferences and client trade show to better expose yourself as an expert or authority in your field of interest?  Why can’t you step-up your marketing of the Product YOU – so that you create additional opportunities for yourself?

Also – are you sure this new job is a 50-60+ week job with low-job satisfaction? Or are you just making assumptions?

You are ultimately responsible for your own time and project schedule. If your salary is based on a 40 hour week – then your salary is based on a 40 hour week. If you decide that you want to limit your general work week to 40 hours a week (giving you some space for MOOCs, self-study and side projects) – just outline your project schedules more realistically.  Take more ownership of your personal business commitments and schedules. As long as you provide realistic expectations on your deliveries – you can still schedule space and time for everything that is important to you.  Although there will be times when you need to work the extra hours; if you are consistently working overtime and the weekend – then you lack the appropriate project management and time management skills.

If you feel that if you don’t put in 50-60 hours a week to receive advancement – then you are choosing that over the other things. Figure out what you really want; decide what are the imperatives and non-negotiables – and design your life accordingly

**Note:  If you consistently work overtime and weekends to conduct regular workplace business, then you have no buffer time to accommodate project emergencies.  If your project is constantly hitting emergencies, then your risk analysis and project management skills need to improve.  If you would like more information or training in this area, please reach out to me.

Regardless of what your ultimate decision (staying in your current position or taking the higher-paying job) – you have the power to design your own career exactly the way you want.

I know your situation is different. Why don’t we schedule an appointment, where I get to know more about your unique situation? And then I will be happy to make recommendations on what your best steps are moving forward. To schedule an appointment, book it HERE.

With enough notice, it would be my honor to guest-speak at no cost to your group organization.

I have a monthly presentation on “how to say YES to everything but on your own terms”. To sign up for the complimentary course, go to www.lauraleerose.com/Say-Yes

Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

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