When I was on my own path of exploring where I wanted my career to go and what my ultimate path was going to be, I was working in a high-paying, high-stress, 50%+ travel, high-powered position. Yes, everything was high. It was the crowning jewel of my career up until that point and I had worked incredibly hard throughout the years to be in that high position with all of the benefits that comes along with it.
But when I started my soul searching, I could never make any real headway. I would plan my creative time around my “real job” demands, leaving very late nights and sometimes weekends, to buckle down and focus on creating what’s next, for me.
It needed to bridge the gap from where I was, to where I knew I was going – with a stable safety net along the way.
So I quit – but I needed real income and the stability of a traditional job to tide me over until “it” was ready. The only way I was able to do this was through finding a bridge job. For me, I was very strategic in my job hunt to be sure that I landed a job that met these needs:
- Paid me as close to what my “powerful” corporate job paid me
- Was an easy job that I could essentially do in my sleep
- Had a culture that you worked hard, but only at work (not expected to deliver 24-7)
- Little engagement needed from me – no travel, no more “highs” just delivery
Bridge Job: A paying job that you seek out and accept because it helps you meet your long-term goals. It is not a strategic “career move” or the job that will bring you the most money or power. But it allows you to focus on YOUR goals and future success.
A bridge job allows you to continue to receive consistent and sustainable income while providing you with the mental space and time capacity to pursue your other passions and dreams. And while some days I was truly bored at work, and other days I wanted to scream at my “wasted talent” (how dramatic am I?), when I left the office at 5pm EVERY DAY, I reminded myself that I had a good four creative hours to work selfishly on me. And I did. And finally, I was able to unlock my own success all due to the space my bridge job provided me.
And the best part about it all… I have no regrets. I was not upset accepting the job knowing that I would be leaving on a timeline; I was not sad about quitting when the time came; my bank account was more flush than when I started the job (as was the plan); and I created a successful business as a side hustle in a safe way. All wins for me.
Have you been in a bridge job? I’d love to hear about your own experiences and how it has worked out for you.
Photo: By Melissa Anzman in Aruba