I Had Three Jobs in Three Years

Here's what I learned about work-life balance, finding fulfillment, and why salary isn't everything.

In college, life after graduation seems like a dream—no homework, studying for finals, or late night cram sessions. It’s the first chance to use your college degree, attend business meetings and brainstorms, get a big paycheck, and have financial freedom.

Financial security is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Once expenses are paid, studies show that an increase in your paycheck doesn’t always equate to happiness. And after having three jobs in three years, I can certainly attest to that. I learned a lot about work-life balance, finding fulfillment, and why salary isn’t everything.

Here’s the rundown of my three jobs in three years – and what I learned from each.

The Resume Builder Job

After graduating college, I landed a job that seemed to fit perfectly with my career goals. It was in my field, it paid well, and it looked great on a resume. My boss told me to view this job as my master’s degree and learn as much as I could. I spent the first year observing everything — listening in on meetings, being mentored by my coworkers, taking notes, asking questions, and networking.

After a year, I began to feel unfulfilled, uninspired, and generally unhappy at work. I was torn because on paper it was a picture-perfect job that I knew would open up doors for me. However, there came a point when I couldn’t do it anymore. So, I put in my two weeks notice and accepted my “dream job.” While this first job wasn’t it for me, I’m glad I took advantage of learning as much as I could from my incredibly smart coworkers.

The Dream Job

Since fifth grade, I’d dreamed of being a wedding planner; so I was ecstatic to accept a position planning weddings. I loved everything about this job. I loved the people, the environment, and the work. It seemed like a perfect fit.

There was one problem: The work-life balance was non-existent. I was newly married and working 70 hours a week. I was gone every night and weekend for six months. While I loved the work, I felt like I was missing out on my first year of marriage. Ultimately, I made the decision to choose my family over my job, and for the second time in two years, I quit my job.

The Work-Life Balance Job

Millennials are known to switch jobs frequently. They’ll often take a job for less money if it provides balance and unique perks. At this point, I’d had two jobs within two years—which doesn’t look great on a resume. I knew I needed to find a job that paid the bills, engaged my interests, and provided work-life balance.

After a three-year search, I finally found a job that met all my needs. I realized quickly that money definitely doesn’t buy happiness. It’s important to be responsible, work hard, and pay your bills — but it’s equally important to find a job that engages your mind and soul. Plus, when you spend 40 or more hours a week at work, it’s essential to like what you do.

Have the courage to make a change if you’re unhappy. Three jobs in three years taught me to prioritize my wants and needs and make them happen.

Join the Discussion

6 Responses to “I Had Three Jobs in Three Years”

  1. nicole

    so.. ? what was your dream job? don’t leave us hanging! and when you say that it took you three years to find it, does that include the 2 previous years in your past jobs, or did you mean 3 additional years?

    • Jay

      Right! I feel like the article, while well written and engaging, ended rather abruptly! I would love to learn what the end-game job of Life/Balance ended up being?

      Either way, great start to an article!

  2. Mary

    Yes, I agree with Nicole – more information please.

  3. Theory

    This was definitely one of those articles that did not add nearly as much value as I was hoping when I first saw the title. DailyWorth, you have got to vet these articles better.

  4. wb

    Seems like this article cut out when the last “work-balance” job came up. What was it?

  5. Kayla

    I love this article and can relate so much! I graduated with my Bachelor’s in ’14 and I too struggled to find the best fit for me. I am on my third job in 3 years and found everything I have been looking for!