Subject: The Importance of Branching Out
There was always one thing I knew as I started to think more about what I wanted to do with my life and that was that I wanted to write about fashion and I wanted to do it for a magazine. As a young fifteen year old I thought that was the ultimate goal and I thought “I love to write, I love fashion, it can’t be that hard, right?”. Fast forward eight years later and I am now working as a financial copywriter.
I am sure you’re all wondering how the wide eyed girl with dreams of making it in the fashion journalistic world, the one who could barely multiply, is now working for a bank? To be completely honest I am not even sure. What I do know is that dream is still very much present but I’ve realized the importance of branching out and trying different things along the way.
In just five years I have had the opportunity to work for the study abroad office in university, as a writer and editor, a fashion intern, a publicist/social media manager for a fashion PR company, a content strategy assistant for a worldwide, digital agency and lastly a copywriter for an investment bank. Sometimes looking at my CV I can’t help but think, this is all over the place, will it show that I am not committed? But truth is, holding all these different positions have all taught me different things that I would have never learned if I didn’t branch out.
Working in the fashion PR industry opened my eyes to how my goal wasn’t as black and white as I thought it would be. I was finally exposed to the industry I wanted to be in and had an amazing experience working along amazing people, but I realized that PR was just not for me and that maybe the fashion industry was just not all I had imagine in my head. I was stressed, barely eating or sleeping and just not in a good place.
But I had my foot in the door and how could I give up on that? I began to questions my dreams and goals and the moment that happened I decided to put a stop to it and move on to a different role and industry. I needed a breather, I was far too young to burn out just yet.
I must admit, as I started to move further away from the fashion industry, at times I found myself frustrated because it made me feel as if I was taking a step backwards towards my goal. Never in a million years I would have expected myself to say I worked at an investment bank, in fact being a dancer was more likely (and I have no rhythm, guys!). But here I am officially a copywriter/communications analyst for an investment bank. The reason I even considered this position was because I knew how beneficial branching out could be.
It’s important to expose yourself to different industries or even positions within your industry. Having a set goal is great and I still have those, but I can’t say that they haven’t changed. The more I explored different areas of work the more I realized different things about myself and what I loved and hated from working in those positions.
An especially good time to branch out is when you’re interning, as it’s the time for you to explore and gather your learnings from each internship to guide you to the position you truly want. Branching out allowed me to take a step back from my own world and realize how I can leverage skills from each position to build up my goals and make them a reality. It also provided me with endless job skills, like learning how to adapt quickly to different environments and work situations.
I can say with complete confidence that I know how to pitch a fashion brand to an editor, I know how to promote a study abroad program effectively, I know the basics of HTML coding, and I know how to effectively take a topic I have little knowledge about, such as finance, and create a well-rounded and informative message. I strongly believe all these stepping stones are preparing me for my dream job and also shaping that dream job along the way.
I know how scary it can be to branch out from your comfort zone especially when you have a set goal you want to reach. But if you ever have the opportunity to branch out and try different position whether that be within your current company/industry or outside of that industry, definitely do it or at least consider it. Branching out will provide you with a greater knowledge and will give you a broader skill set that you can use to build up and reach your dreams.