I Took a Big Pay Cut to Make a Career Change

I should admit up front that Abby Wolfe and I go way back. All the way to November 2015 when I began working for The Muse, and when Wolfe was an editorial intern. That fact in and of itself is hardly interesting, but Wolfe wasn’t a college senior eager to break into the world of editing upon graduation when she accepted the internship.

No, Wolfe was about to be a bonafide career changer. Exploring writing opportunities was a part of her path to breaking away from being at the beck and call of clients and corporate politics, where she’d spent the bulk of her relatively short career thus far. She felt undervalued and unexcited.

As an undergrad student, Wolfe says she “had no idea” what she wanted to do with her life. She studied that which interested her: criminal justice, psychology of spirituality, and psychology of exercise.

After a couple of jobs following graduation that Wolfe found anything but fulfilling, she began to wonder, “Maybe I’m the problem.”

As a project coordinator, Wolfe found herself frustrated constantly “chasing after people.” The work was repetitive, and she thought she might like writing.

Hence the internship at The Muse. 20 hours a week meant Wolfe could write, edit, participate in weekly pitch meetings, and get a really good feel for all-things digital media.

To find out what Wolfe is up to now, keep reading:

Did The Muse Internship Convince You to Pursue a Job in Digital Media?

Yes, it definitely did! After my first two jobs, I had a lot of skepticism about “the corporate world,” and I convinced myself I’d never be happy in it. The Muse changed that for me. I finally found work that not only didn’t feel like work (at least most of the time), but that also made me feel valued, purposeful, and happy.

The cherry on top was that the editorial team felt like an instant family to me, even though I worked remotely. (I still miss Tuesday evening pitch meetings, Google Hangout glitches and all.)

When looking for new gigs, my top three search terms were “health,” “writing,” and “editorial.” I interviewed for the job I have now and an editorial coordinator position at the same time. While only part of my current job is digital media work, it was the best fit for me for right now. And, though my full-time job box is checked off for now, I’m always looking for more opportunities in digital media.

What Are You Doing Now?

I’m a health education coordinator at university in Washington, DC. There are a lot of pieces to my job, but in a nutshell: I manage social media for the wellness center, I manage approximately 20 students who are peer wellness coordinators (coaching students on alcohol, drugs, sexual health), and I meet one-on-one with students sent to the health and wellness center for a variety of issues.

You Took a Pretty Significant Pay Cut for This Role, Yes? How’s That Working Out for You?

When I accepted the offer for the role I’m in now, I was more than OK with the 20% salary decrease. And while I’m doing fine, I must admit it’s been an adjustment. Fortunately, I can still pay my monthly bills without too much worry.

It’s a constant learning process, but I’m not in this line of work for the money. I’ve chased money enough times in the past to know that it’s good for my wallet but not for my soul. I just, unfortunately, chose a lower paying industry in one of the most expensive cities in the country.