A painful 3 years change to a new career

Published or updated on
July 21, 2020

In these last 3+ years, I serendipitously transitioned my career from accounting to marketing…
By failing twice!

At the beginning of 2016, I left my accounting job and sold my very few (!) possessions to start backpacking in Latin America.

I wanted to travel, but I mostly wanted to escape my current professional life and find a new path.

Long story short, I stopped in the fast-paced Medellin and eventually launched two online business ideas.

I then moved back to Switzerland to work on one of these businesses that showed some early traction.

The business didn’t work out…

But by launching something after so many years being scared and by fear of having to get back to accounting, I did the next logical thing and pitched what were freelancing services packaged as a productized services to local businesses.

Hungry to work with better clients, I learned a totally new skillset in digital marketing: media buying, email marketing, automation, and some basic copywriting.

I eventually improved and worked with better clients, but I didn’t managed well the building up a good consulting business and the building up the side project at the same time. Both didn’t get enough attention x intensity and struggled by lack of focus.

I still wrote online a handful of pretty good articles and had some work to show for.

In early 2020, I open myself to the idea of a part-time job in marketing and through dumb luck found an ad without looking for it on my coworking intranet.

I send an email, meet the management, and get an offer. They didn’t even ask for my resume as I had put things online.

I start on the 02nd of March, and a few days later, the world turns upside down due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

Luck!

The startup is going really strong during the whole pandemic and I can (and get asked to do so) increase my working percentage.

I feel really lucky and am grateful for what happened.

But, if I may give a piece of actionable advice:

  1. Be curious & learn new things on the web or by reading books. You can learn anything from the best for free or pennies (and credential are useless in 2020 anyway)
  2. Work in public, start this podcast, own your domain, write this essay.
  3. Feeling stuck, start a side business or freelance. You can turn your career around and improve your career coming back from the side door.
  4. When serendipity is around, seize it

This is just my retrospect in an attempt to re-start a writing and publishing habit.

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