Following My Fears

Jonelle Brown is a marketing professional whose love for great television and film led her to the Big Apple to start her career in publicity and marketing.

Recently, Jonelle found herself with a very good problem (but a problem nonetheless) on her hands: she had to decide between two exciting but very different marketing positions within the same company. Would she turn down a guaranteed role in a domain she was comfortable with, or pursue a new position that still required weeks of interviewing?

I sat down with Jonelle to find how she tackled making that choice.

Emilie: So tell me about this choice you faced, Jonelle.

Jonelle: I was weighing the option of pursuing either a consumer marketing or partner marketing positions. I had worked in consumer marketing in the past, and knew that my background was an easy and logical fit. I had already made it to the end of a months-long interview process when a new position at the company in partner marketing opened up.

Partner marketing is something I’ve never fully tackled before, and I was tempted to stay where I was in consumer marketing, because it was squarely in my comfort zone. I knew how the team operated and was confident that I could hit the ground running. I was intimidated by partner marketing because it was new to me and I would have to leave their other offer on the table in order to pursue the other position.I decided to begin the interview process with the partner marketing position to learn more, and was immediately excited by the energy of the hiring manager and how this role would help meet larger company initiatives. With one solid offer on the table and the prospect of an even more exciting role, HR asked me to choose. I was at the end of one hiring process and at the very beginning of another.

E: Risky proposition! How’d you come to the decision that was best for you??

J: Channeling my type-A personality, I wrote a pros and cons list about each job. After some thought, I decided to go with my gut and take the riskier option of turning down the consumer marketing role and moving forward with the partner marketing position. The biggest sign for me was that partner marketing scared me – but in a good way. It was a new path and would require me to step up to the plate and learn a lot of new skills on the job. I knew the nerves and fears were a sign that this opportunity could be a great learning opportunity – and maybe even a launching pad for the rest of my career.

E: Way to dare big, boss! What happened next?

J: I waited several weeks, fretting if I had made the right decision, before I received the official phone call offering me the job. After I accepted, I connected with my new boss on planning my onboarding and the overall goals of the role. I was immediately reassured that I made the right choice. All the stress and worry was worth it in the end.

E: That’s amazing, Jonelle! I’m so happy it all paid off. Do you think attending Bossed Up Bootcamp helped you in any way?

J: Honestly, Bootcamp was vital to my career journey this year. The opening “10 Year Reunion” exercise was the first time I even spoke about some of my biggest aspirations outloud. At first I was nervous, but by the end, I could speak confidently about where I wanted my life to go. Putting those desires out into the universe, for me, felt like I was taking the first step to make it happen. Now, at the start of each month, I fill out my LifeTracker and zero in on one category until I’ve hit that goal. I’m very happy to cross “find a new job” off my list and look for a new goal within the career category, and focus on other areas of my life.  

E: Got any advice for other women in your shoes?

J: I’ve found that trusting my gut, versus the opinions of others (no matter how well-meaning they may be!) has consistently led me in the right direction. Another gem I heard years ago and still carry with me is: “No one cares about your career more than you do.” At the end of the day, your career is up to you. If you want to make a change, take a risk, or do something unconventional that you think will best serve your journey, go for it!


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