This has been a strange couple of months, hasn’t it?
With many businesses temporarily closing or moving to remote operations, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in most people’s careers. Some people are facing reduced hours or temporary layoffs, and some businesses may struggle to survive the extended closure.
If there’s ever a time to think about shaping your career path, it’s now.
I went to school for speech-language pathology and have been a school-based speech therapist for almost three years. Since schools have been closed, I’ve also delved into the world of teletherapy – and while this has come with many challenges, I’m glad my students are getting some services to some degree.
I am also a marketing associate here at Lightning Media Partners. I love having a productive creative outlet, using words and images to convey a message to an audience, and then adjusting or building on our strategy based on client and customer feedback.
In short, my career is more than one thing – and yours can be, too.
What does it look like to have multiple careers?
When I started my marketing career, I didn’t have a formal education or background in the field. However, my hobbies always fell on the “creative” side of things – I did dance and musical theater, I wrote and edited for my high school newspaper, and I made silly photo edits for my friends in Photoshop. While being a speech therapist was rewarding, I really missed having creative freedom. Between that, the challenges inherent to the school system, and a few career curveballs, it was clear: I was on the path to burnout.
I am forever grateful to Nicole and Sean, the founders of Lightning Media Partners, for taking a chance on me at this critical period in my life. Knowing my interest in writing and design, they expanded my role from an administrative assistant to a marketing associate. I would have the opportunity to create on a regular basis, as well as be generally more involved in the company’s overall direction and growth.
Today, I work part-time as a speech therapist in a preschool, and part-time as a remote marketing associate. Moving from one full-time job to two part-time jobs felt like a huge risk, as I’d be giving up benefits as well as potential career and financial stability. And yet, I had no doubt in my mind it was what I wanted to do.
I get so much fulfillment from both of my careers, as I get to use two different parts of my brain without completely overworking one or the other. Being a speech therapist has improved my ability to communicate my desired message through words and images, as well as to manage my time effectively. Building my creative skills with LMP has made me a more innovative speech therapist, more willing and able to try new ideas to best help my students.
Embrace your career paths
I can only speak from my own experience, but if you have that nagging voice in your head telling you that you aren’t really satisfied, listen to it. It is entirely possible to pursue multiple careers, simultaneously or sequentially, especially with the gig economy and remote work becoming more and more common. There are many freelance/gig posting websites available to get work experience and grow your portfolio, as well as free or inexpensive online courses to supplement your theory/knowledge base. If you’re worried about taking that leap, starting at a smaller scale and building up your skills is a great way to test the waters.
So whether you’re pursuing a second job in a new field if you’re looking to change your career direction entirely, embrace your path(s) – your journey is yours, and it can take you to some beautiful places if you let it.