It’s useful to step back and take these experiences and distil them into a series of learnings. What should I have learned from all this?
- There is a pattern of job-hopping here that is corrosive to a career. I must have changed jobs seven times in fifteen years. Think about that. That’s a new job every other year. It’s difficult to build a firm foundation anywhere with that kind of resume;
- I certainly knew how to find a new position. A hot labor market is a great place to be. My resume allowed move to find interesting new positions regularly;
- All of my job changes were lateral movements. I never changed positions for a promotion. I might get a bump in salary, but I was flat-lined and didn’t see it;
- I wasn’t building my personal knowledge and experience to allow me to move ahead;
- I was changing jobs sometimes careers without giving it a lot of thought.
Looking back, the driving force behind all these jobs changes was money. I hated these jobs. They were far removed from what I really wanted to do. And with each new job, I was moving farther and farther away. I allowed myself to make decisions based on what other people thought and not by reflecting on my core values.
Although there were a lot of positive things going on (I should have become an executive recruiter rather than a capital markets specialist), I hated what I was doing. In the long-run, that can never come to a good end.
On the home front as the primary breadwinner, you are under a lot of pressure to generate income. And in many cases, not just generate income but to consistently earn more. Now your partner may say that this isn’t the case, but those kinds of statements are self-serving.
I learned the hard way that if I wasn’t happy, no one around me would be happy. I would make sure of that. There’s is nothing wrong with making decisions based on that premise. Anything else will likely result in disaster.
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.