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  • Writer's pictureAnn-Marie Brennand

From now on I am only taking life promotions

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

A very dear friend of mine moved from the Home Counties to Northern Scotland last year, I mean like properly North, North, North Scotland, we are talking about “beyond the wall” in Game of Thrones geography. I am not going to lie; I thought it was a bit bonkers to move so far away from her friends and family and to be living in an isolated part of the country with just her puppy and very lovely, but relatively new, boyfriend. I am a Londoner, born and bred, and feel nervous about moving anywhere that wouldn’t give me easy access to the shows and exhibitions that the capital has to offer, so to me, this was a risky move.

When I recently visited her she explained that, although she took a pay cut for an equivalent role and her partner was job hunting for several months when they first moved, setting up life in Scotland wasn’t about advancing their wealth - they chose to take a “Life Promotion”.

They now have the lifestyle they craved that was previously unattainable in the home counties and spend spare time climbing mountains, walking along beaches, rambling in forests, photographing natural beauty spots and regularly visiting the reindeers in the Cairngorms. And as a bonus, even with a reduced salary, my friend was able to afford a two-bedroom house, with garden, off road parking and garage for a price that I am not sure would give you a shoe box in London.

This made me think about what we consider a promotion to be and should we take more thought in what we want in life when considering a promotion. I am of the belief life is there to be enjoyed and our career should compliment our lives.

It is OK to change careers, take a sideways or diagonal steps, in fact I encourage them as this kind of move can provide you with a whole new perspective.

The next step in your career doesn’t always have to be upwards.   Job title and / or salary doesn’t have to be the end game. Yes, we do all need a paycheck to keep the lights switched on, but I encourage you to also think about what is really important to you - your life goals and values and what you need; physically, financially, emotionally and mentally to achieve these. Goals and ambitions will differ for each person and may also change throughout one’s career and so these need to be re-evaluated regularly.

We traditionally see success as a bigger pay cheque or a fancier job title but if your job is stopping from living your #bestlife, even if you are earning more money, is it a promotion at all?

Consider where and who do you want to spend your precious time with. If a job promotion doesn’t compliment these, then even if it has a bigger salary and greater title, is it a promotion or a life sacrifice?

After all, Ralph Waldo Emerson has no mention of money or position in his poem on success:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. 

To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. 

This is to have succeeded.”


Thanks to Nicola and Joe for inspiring me by being brave and seizing the opportunity to make their dreams a reality. Also, for Joe giving me permission to use one of his gorgeous photos.

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