The Change of a Job: Reflecting on My First Year with Juno and What I Learned About Taking Risks & Pushing Yourself

As I come to my one-year anniversary at Juno Search Partners, I thought it was a good time to reflect on my first year here and look at what I learned (and gained) by taking the risk of starting a new business and changing jobs.

August of last year was a super stressful month for me. I was in the midst of making a major life decision: I was contemplating taking a new job. Being a recruiter, I am constantly walking people through the process of changing jobs, giving notice and every other nerve-racking thing you encounter when you are on the job market. It wasn’t until I was going through this process myself did I realize I needed to take my own advice! Anyone that knows me knows that I HATE making decisions. I also hate change, taking risks and uncertainty.

I had come to a point in my career though where I knew I had to make a change. I was working 11-hours a day, 5 days a week, and missing out on activities that I loved and missed. I was also completely uninspired and unmotivated. I really had to take a look at my situation and figure out if I was actually unhappy with what I was doing (recruiting/sales) or just unhappy where I was doing it. I realized that I had reach my ceiling and it was time for something new.

I had been approached by one of the partners a few times, casually, about starting an IT practice within Juno. Truthfully, I had never given it much thought as I really didn’t think I was qualified. The fact that someone wanted ME to start an entire division seemed crazy and brought way too much pressure! To me it was a huge risk (gulp) but it was huge risk that has since paid off in more ways than one. Here are a few things that I learned from taking a risk, changing my job and finding my match in an employer:

It’s Going to be Challenging

You just need to accept the fact that it is going to be A LOT of work. Whether your new job brings a heavier workload, more responsibility or even if it is a lateral move, you still need to prove yourself. I’m competitive by nature so I HATE being the new person. I want to be the best immediately. That doesn’t happen over night unfortunately. Sometimes it doesn’t happen for months or years, but you have to be willing to put in the effort to get there.

You Need to Have Confidence

In 3 years I had managed to transform myself from a waitress/dancer to a businesswoman who was negotiating contracts with seasoned CFO’s and closing down senior level IT executives. When push came to shove however, I lacked the confidence in myself to believe that I could build a business from the ground up. To everyone around me it was a no brainer. “Why wouldn’t you pounce on this opportunity?” Truth was I was nervous! What if I failed? In the end, I was forced to find the confidence in myself to build a new client list, grow my candidate pipeline and more importantly, grow my division. If I didn’t believe in myself, no one else would either.

It Keeps Things Exciting

Who doesn’t like a challenge? It keeps you on your toes and makes you work smart. If your work isn’t stimulating and it doesn’t push you then what is the point? I am someone who constantly needs to be stirred; I get bored very easily. I would rather feel like I’m drowning at work then be complacent. Taking a job for the risk and challenge is fun and it’s scary and you end up gaining a whole new set of skills.

The Bigger The Risk…

Ok, so it wasn’t like I moved across the country or took a forty thousand dollar pay cut, but it was the biggest (and probably only at this point) risk I had taken. For me it’s been well worth it. I feel inspired and excited by work again. All the fear and uncertainty I had only pushed me to make it work. I knew that if I failed it would be no one’s fault but my own. That I had let my insecurities get the best of me. Don’t get me wrong, from time to time I still need to pop into one of the partner's office for reassurance, but I have gotten better at accepting small defeats (or at least I am trying) and pushing forward.

All in all it has been a roller-coaster ride the past year. There were certainly times when I thought I had made a huge mistake and felt like I was letting everyone down. For the most part though, I can look back and say it was one of the best decisions I had ever made. I am actually happy with my job. I enjoy going to work every day. I like the people I work with and I have FUN at work!

You don’t always know how things are going to turn out in life. Nothing is for certain. You can, however, put yourself in a position to take a risk and end up with a huge reward.



Sarah Herrmann