When Your Dream Doesn't Come True

Alright y'all, it's honesty hour! I've been wanting to write about this for a while, but hadn't had the motivation to come right out and say it yet, so here goes nothing.

For those of you that don't know, I studied advertising in school and my biggest goal in life was (and still is) to become a creative director for an ad agency. During school, I had three internships, worked part-time and was in all the right clubs and organizations to set me on the path for success. I was receiving great feedback from my professors and my bosses and felt like I was on top of the world.

Enter senior year.

I'm sure some of you are familiar with the feeling of being in a stalemate and that you aren't reaching your full potential or maybe have experienced it before. During senior year I always felt that I was waiting for the next part of my life to start and I just had to wait and wait until graduation for it to happen. I was so ready to be a grown up [WHAT] and all I wanted was to start my career.

Upon friends receiving job offers five months before graduating and seeing peers in my major get jobs at great agencies, I was becoming discouraged and thought that maybe I had set my goal too high. I talked to my advisors and family about what plan would work best and tried to network with as many people as possible to find the right fit.

Graduation came and went and still no offer.

Fast forward to July and to me applying to about 10 jobs a day, at this point any job that was hiring in the marketing/ advertising industry or even had the word marketing in the description. My lowest point came when the agency of my dreams, Leo Burnett, had chosen their interns for the year and I wasn't on the list of those that were accepted.

For those that aren't familiar - the ad world, especially in large cities, is extremely competitive and internships are pretty much your only way of being hired unless you've had a salary job within an agency before. Leo Burnett is known for hiring their interns on at the end of the program and with my internship experience I thought I had a good shot, so as you can guess I was devastated that I couldn't even land an interview for one.

After a few sketchy interviews for random positions and some much needed Ben and Jerry's, God sent me a little gift in the form of an email. I opened the email and realized it was for a marketing position at an investment banking firm [my thoughts - yeah right I can't even stand algebra, there's no way I could do that or even want to]. But, by this point I was pulling my hair out and was jumping at any opportunity that could pull me away from Netflix and the massive amounts of ice cream I'd been eating, so I replied to learn more about the position.

I scheduled the phone interview and I had never been so intrigued during a job interview. Long story short, I went through three more interviews and accepted their offer to be their Client Experience Manager.

I was so excited to accept a job that I really cared about and to work for a company that really invested [ no pun intended ;) ] in me and my future. After a couple weeks of getting started and learning about the company, I was sort of at a cross roads and was asking myself if I made the right choice. Part of me was loving what I was doing and the freedom that came with it, but the other part of me was day dreaming about being in an ad agency talking campaign strategy with the creative team. It hadn't hit me that I was living my dream, just in a different way, until my boss told me I was allowed to own that I worked in the finance world.

Translation: I wasn't comfortable telling people I worked in investment banking, because I didn't have much of an idea about the industry and I clearly don't work with the numbers that most people think I do when I tell them what I do. I was putting myself in a bubble and not accepting what I was actually accomplishing.

Upon voicing this confusion to my boss and asking for his advice, he gave me the best ego boost I've heard in my life. "Amanda, you have to realize what you're accomplishing here. I know this isn't the industry you know and it isn't your dream job in the ad world. But, to be frank, if you were at Leo Burnett right now you would be an intern, but you are here - running the marketing department."

BOOM. BAM I WAS FLOORED. I wasn't even realizing that I was living my dream. I was sooo caught up trying to become the person that I was pushing so hard to be and I hadn't even realized the blessing that was brought into my life.

The reason I'm posting this is not to brag about my position or how "my dream came true anyways..." But, to remind y'all of how life surprises you, God surprises you, and challenges you everyday to push yourself further. Sometimes it is hard to recognize something as a dream come true because you're so focused on the end result that you miss the journey of getting to that dream. I didn't give myself credit for running the marketing of an investment banking firm because I was so caught up in saying, "One day I'll be in an agency." I was loving my new job, but focusing on what I didn't have instead of appreciating the amazing thing I did have.

So, try and think of every opportunity in the most positive way and give something a shot that, at first, you may have thought would never be the right fit. Turns out, it could be the best decision you make.

Thank you for reading and letting me voice my story. In the very least I hope this makes you realize a situation could have a unique outcome, one that you may not have expected. In the best case scenario, I hope it gives you the courage to take a leap of faith and realize that not everything has to go according to plan. xoxo