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*Unsubscribe* from the Career Ladder

Updated: Jul 2

Melissa is a Brooklyn-based design director at GLG agency. Having made a major shift from project management to creative, while navigating divorce and parenting her incredible son, Melissa is living proof that pursuing work that makes you feel valued and connected will lead you closer to your purpose.

I had the pleasure of working with Melissa in 2013 on the largest global pharmaceutical brand ever to exist. We launched multiple websites together, launched a new product (that required health care provider and consumer advertising), and set up email and social media campaigns during our 13-months working together.

We worked at a small but mighty agency that was growing rapidly, and we were passionate about doing great work (far beyond typical norms of perfectionism). For that reason, neither of us spent very much time with our respective families together, but we were absolutely in the trenches together (cue ridiculous Anchorman scene) and got to learn each other's quirks, hopes, dreams, and unmet needs.

10-years later, I am proud to call her a friend and watch her navigate significant personal and professional change. She has fearlessly faced challenges head-on, proving that mental health, identity, career, and self-worth are so closely intertwined. She is an incredible exemplar of pursuit and perseverance as she navigated her career shift - even if it did not make sense to anyone else. Her story is one of creativity, vulnerability, and connection as she walks a pathway so perfect for her personality, skills, and passions.

This 35-minute discussion is chock-full of insights and practical recommendations for those considering career shifts and major changes. You will want to watch it!

Melissa's Advice:

  • Envision your career success and growth as a pathway - not a ladder

  • Find people whose work and character you admire. Learn from them. Ask for their feedback.

  • Pursue your hobbies and seek ways to connect - music, art, nature are great fun and sources of inspiration.

  • Do therapy.

  • Invite a close friend into your career exploration process. Listen to a podcast. Collaborate with them as you consider next steps.

  • Listen to your gut and trust yourself.

We have committed to talk again because there were so many exciting topics to keep exploring. On my list to deep dive with her in a future catch-up:

  • Psychological safety in creative teams and brainstorms

  • Divorce + parenthood + career

  • Art and travel

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