Career Confessions: How I Found My Career Freedom

When I was eight years old, I told my grandmother that I wanted to be a baseball player when I grew up. Without missing a beat, she immediately slapped me, and told me that was a terrible idea. My grandfather – her ex-husband – had tried that same career path, his drive to make it as a professional being what eventually drove them apart. Yes, child abuse is terrible, but there’s a larger lesson here.

Unlearning the lessons ingrained by youth is difficult. Thus, waking up on the morning after my 30th birthday feeling very unfulfilled and deciding that getting laid off from a lucrative commercial real estate position was a gift in disguise. Realizing that nobody could literally or figuratively slap me was the painfully slow evolution in my thinking that changed my life. It was all that was needed to open the intellectual portal to nurturing the reality that, after five difficult years, my ideal life has become.

“Realizing that nobody could literally or figuratively slap me was the painfully slow evolution in my thinking that changed my life.” 

At present, I wear many hats and work many jobs. My main goal each day is to succeed in the attempt to get paid to make myself happy by making someone else’s life easier, ideally through music. Discovering the synergy between personal happiness and the simplest goal of my professional existence has taken five years, but has ultimately proven to be the fulfilling. Financially, my “main” job is at Listen Vision – Washington, DC’s oldest and largest recording studio – as the Executive Director of both the studio itself and WLVS Radio, the studio’s streaming online audio and video brand. Developing my skills in being both fearless and progressive has been invaluable in developing the station, from branding it with the motto of “No Rules. Just Standards.” to figuring out exactly what the future of radio (and broadcasting) in a deregulated environment both is and can become.

Furthermore, I never stop creating and being inspired. Oftentimes that involves writing for four or five different outlets at the same time about four or five different topics. Developing writing as not as much a skill, but a wedge to opening doors to accessing my personal and professional goals continues to be key.

“Ultimately, finding and nurturing your career freedom not only makes you happy, but makes you an asset.”

As a studio/radio executive, my lifetime obsession with studying music and five years of writing about it have allowed me to curate my position not so much as a sales person, but an experience coordinator. I listen to people talk about what they want to do, and put together in my mind what would provide them the most beneficial life experience working with the company. It’s in accessing the human where one finds their truest desires and truest self. In knowing that and allowing it the room to shine, I feel as though I excel at what I am tasked to do.

Accepting the humanity inherent in discovering your best professional self is difficult. However, it’s also absolutely necessary. Ultimately, finding and nurturing your career freedom not only makes you happy, but makes you an asset.

 

About the Author

Washington DC native Marcus K. Dowling is a locally, nationally and internationally respected veteran executive and journalist working for some of the country’s top newspapers and blogs. Marcus currently works as Executive Director at Listen Vision, Business Development and Acquisition Consultant at Ross Business Management, and is one of the founding principals of Vamos Promo.

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Career, Developement, Information, interview, skills