So maybe you’ve got an idea of the general direction for your career or a couple of options you’re considering. But instead of celebrating this it’s possible that you’re freaking out because you’re not there yet. Amiright?
Remember going on a family road trip when you were a kid? You were excited just thinking about it. You’d get to go to a cool new place and there would be things to see, and fun and adventure, and, best of all, CAR SNACKS!
But your sweet little seven-year-old self forgot that it would take a while to get to the cool new place, and instead of enjoying the ride you sulked about how long it was taking. You threw a fit of despair, asking in your most annoying, whiniest voice possible, Are we therrrrre yet? Every. Five. Minutes. This does not make for a fun road trip, my friend. Not then and not now.
One of the most common things for people to say when they’re trying to figure this career stuff out is, I feel like I’m already so behind. And so my question is, behind who? Behind people like your parents who’ve been working for three decades longer than you? Yeah, you’re about three decades behind them. Behind your older sister who has an awesome job she loves? Yeah, but that’s just because she had a total fucking meltdown of her own after she graduated and then she figured some things out and got her act together. Just like you’re doing now.
Answer me this: Were you the kind of kid to get your test paper back, realize you did pretty good, but then immediately steal a glance of your friend’s paper only to learn that she did even better? Kinda took the joy out of your own victory, didn’t it?
There’s a reason why no graduation speech in the history of ever has been titled 6 Quick And Easy Steps To Kill It In Your Career And Get Everything You Ever Wanted. You know why? Not possible. That speech would be filled with lies. Because life is messy. So is work.
Slow down. Chill out. Calm yourself. This stuff takes time to figure out. There’s no need to rush to the finish. In fact, if you’re thinking of your career as the finish line — a place where you can lean back and put your feet up once you get it all figured out — think again. Sure, there will be moments when you can enjoy the fruits of your labor, but for the most part it’s going to be in constant motion. There is no finish line.
Now if you feel like you haven’t even arrived at the START line of your career, that’s another story. The time to start is now. Even if you feel like you’re not ready and you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Welcome to the club, btw. That’s what adulting is all about — having to wing it when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.
Career Rookie: A Course For Grads and Career Newbies Who Have No Idea What The Fuck They’re Doing starts in September. For the first time ever. I’ve taken my years of work helping people start their careers and poured it into a fun, snarky, let’s-keep-it-real-and-get-shit-done online course to help you figure out what you want and how get after it.
Stay tuned. It might be the loving kick in the ass you need. More deets coming soon.