Damn, I love what I’m doing. How awesome is that?

When the first wave of the global financial crisis hit Russia, I myself was actually in a pretty good spot. Granted, my friends were losing their jobs at an alarming rate, the unemployment rate was skyrocketing, and generally speaking it was not a time people remember fondly. I, however, worked for Siberian Coal Energy Company, Russia’s largest coal producing corporation and had nothing to worry about.

The only sign of the crisis around us was the cancellation of a corporate New Year’s party featuring some high-profile pop stars. I was 22 years old, had an adorable boyfriend, and my life was seemingly perfect — except that I didn’t feel like it.

Well, the stability of my position was definitely comforting. But, beyond the satisfaction of getting things done, I didn’t feel much love for the things I was working on.

So, when I got an interesting offer from a small local restaurant business, I jumped on it.

Now, before you accuse me of being a spoiled well-off kid that had nothing to lose — I was not. Far from it, actually. I was earning a decent salary, but beyond that I was completely on my own. I also had just recently moved into a brand new apartment, and had my own share of bills and rent to pay.

My friends thought I was crazy to give up a stable, well-paying job in the middle of a large financial crisis, and to a degree they were right. If things didn’t work out, I’d be in a pretty bad place.

To me, though, that offer was an opportunity to do what I loved, and it was worth everything in the world.

Fast forward six years into the future. Since then, my work taught me not only how to take initiative, but also how to actively defend and “sell” your idea, so that you have a chance to bring it to live. It taught me the role of personal responsibility in a tight-knit team. It taught me that a failure is an opportunity to do better. It taught me how to take a ragtag group of creative, passionate people and turn it into a lean, mean marketing machine that crashes the competition on every turn. It taught me countless other things that eventually took me to the place where I am now, a Director of Brand Marketing in a company that dominates the restaurant market in a city of 1M.

Now, you probably guessed where this is going — yes, it’s been an awesome ride, and it was totally worth it. My company has grown tremendously, I have grown with it, and I’m so glad I had the courage to take the risk that I didn’t have to take.

Could it have ended up differently? No doubt. I easily could have crashed and burned, and had to start over from nothing. And yet if I was asked to make the same choice again, I wouldn’t change a thing, because you know what?

During these six years, all that time, every day, whether it was a weekday or a weekend, I always woke up with the same thought, “Damn, I love what I’m doing!”

How awesome is that?


Photo by Austin Ban

Steve Jobs once said:

“Have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

My heart and my intuition tell me it’s time for a new challenge. If you have one for me, my contact information is here.

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