The Job Hopper

Sep 20, 2018  |  By Mariana Fernandes  |  

I’ve never been the most decisive person when it comes to my professional life. I changed majors three times, I had internships in four different industries, and ended up going into a different industry than the one I graduated in. My life has never been linear in that sense, and Civilian was the perfect fit from day one.

I first came to Civilian as a finance intern in the Talent Accelerator Program. After my tenure, I was lucky enough to get hired. I spent some months as a Billing Coordinator before starting to get an itch for something different. However, it was upper management that pushed me to find another vertical to grow into (we are never idle in this place). At the time, my controlling side took over and Traffic Coordination seemed like the perfect fit since it was a job that would give me a deeper understanding of all processes across departments. I was more impressed that management was open to the idea of creating a position specifically for me, so that I could perform both duties under one title. That flexibility has been paramount to my growth and happiness at work.

It was the year and a half I spent in Traffic that opened the possibility of different paths for me at the agency. I was more connected with the different departments (billing can be a very siloed job) because I was a part of their processes as the central link. While working in Traffic, one is the guide of the agency, the driver that keeps the wheels spinning so people are in constant communication and deadlines are met. It’s dynamic and challenging work. I felt influential and enjoyed the challenge it brought to my professional life.

Alas, after some time, I realized that I didn’t really enjoy coordinating as much as I thought I did. But I loved Civilian, enjoyed working in advertising, appreciated my coworkers and managers, and felt grateful to be doing work that makes communities better. I didn’t want to leave. So, I started chatting with my coworkers about their responsibilities, about needs within the agency, and talked to the different department heads to get a feel for what it would be like to work in their department. Everyone was extremely open and helpful during this process, including my own manager, who now had to start hiring a new person to fulfill my very hybrid position.

I chose to expand into digital media. The department welcomed me with open arms and everyone was willing to train me in a short amount of time. It’ll soon be a year since this transition, and I am happy I did it. The work continues to be dynamic and challenging, except now I also get more job satisfaction. Looking back, I can’t believe it’s been three years. In a way, Civilian has grown and changed so much over this time that it almost feels like I work at a different company from the one I started at. I am also in disbelief of the extent to which my responsibilities have changed.

I work for a company that recognizes the talent they have in-house and is willing to make room for professional lateral moves. I was able to change my path many times because management and my coworkers are comfortable with those changes and extremely supportive. If you’re feeling lost or unhappy in your position, and you feel like it would be helpful to branch out and try something different – do it. Try things, be weird, get uncomfortable. Hopefully you land somewhere that’s willing to let you figure it out on the job.

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