When it comes to the work that you do, do you work hard?
Not as in work that requires physical labour but another kind of hard work, the sort that requires you to give something of yourself. I guess it’s what is known as emotional labour.
So often, we refrain from exerting emotional labour because it’s easier not to. Or maybe you feel like it’ll wear you out or you just don’t want to give that much of yourself.
But I think it’s really just about making the choice to offer something of yourself. It’s sort of like an act of generosity, if you look back on the places you have worked you’re likely to find that your willingness to be generous varied.
I suppose that’s why I think it’s important that we like the place we work and the work that we do.
The viewer or the consumer does not have to care about what went on behind the scenes. They are there for the art not the person and I think that in some cases that’s the way it should be.
In other cases, like on social media, the consumer is often there for the person just as much as if not more than they’re there for the art (or whatever creative thing that the person does).
This is why people with highly dedicated fans/followers will be supported no matter what they do.
I think that because of social media there are now blurred lines between what is business and what is personal.
But it is important to know that just because you’re visible online and people may know what you do it doesn’t mean that they care. Some people are there for the work, not for you and that is perfectly alright.
So, if you offer a product or service and the customer is not satisfied they might voice how they feel. If it is not considered good enough the customer doesn’t necessarily care that you did your best and that you will be better next time. They care that they bought someone thing they are not happy with.
And so your job is not to find customers that care about you personally but to instead to show up, create great work and deliver.
When it comes to future plans we often forget the reason behind the paths we choose.
We know what we want, when we want it and what it will take but we forget the reason why we want it.
A common example is career paths. A person may want to become a nurse in the next 3 years after they complete studying which will require time, effort, patience and dedication.
The reason the person wants to pursue that particular path, may have once been clear but now is somewhat of a mystery.
It’s only until something happens that this person then remembers that it is because they want to help people. Or maybe, when they were younger a nurse took care of them and they decided that they wanted to be able to do that for other people.
If we now take it back to more general ‘future plans’, I think knowing why you want to do something is important. It could be travel plans, moving to a new country or trying a new activity. Sometimes even though we know what we want to do we get complacent and put things off . And so knowing what to do is often not enough for you to get things done.
However, knowing why you want to do something gives you a pretty good reason to do it.
There are stats to prove that when it comes to job applications women are less likely to apply than men, if they don’t meet all the requirements.
The interesting thing about this is that if you don’t get the job you don’t really lose out because nothing changes. So if you apply yo a job where you only meet 75% of what they are asking for, there’s no real risk at all, in fact you should probably do it more often.
The things you can’t yet do or don’t have much experience of are probably things that can be learnt on the job.
Of course, if what they’re asking for is experience in a specialised software that you’ve never even heard of it’s probably not worth going for. However, if the application asks for someone who has used a particular software and you have, don’t let not being an expert stop you from applying.
When you don’t perfectly meet all the criteria for a job application perhaps you feel like you won’t be able to do a good, you’re worried about your weaknesses (the things you’re not as experienced in) being exposed or maybe you don’t think you’ll get an interview.
All that stuff is just guesswork. You can apply to a job you’re perfectly qualified for and not get it, you can apply to a job you’re 75% qualified for and get it.
The risk of applying is minimal, I think the real risk is in getting your hopes up.
But the purpose of taking a risk is knowing there’s a chance it might not work and doing it anyway.
One of the reasons a person will not apply for a job is not feeling qualified enough, feeling as though they fall short.
And if you’re a chef looking at a vacancy for a senior engineer, you’re right.
But when you find a role that is similar to what you have experience in whether it is the same field or you just have have transferable skills, why not go for it.
You don’t need to meet every requirement on the vacancy to actually get the job. And you definitely don’t need to be dishonest on your application.
Each company will do things differently so even if you have done it before you’ll probably have to learn it in a new way.
It’s easy to get put off by something you haven’t done before but it’s also important to remember that it might not be difficult just because it’s new.
When it comes to applying for a job you don’t have to meet everything specified in the job description, almost qualified is good enough.
It’s the kind of situation where you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
In a recent conversation where two people were giving career advice, I noticed a wide gap between their perspectives.
The first person spoke about doing something you were interested in, gaining a qualification and working hard to be a specialist in your field.
The second person just spoke about picking a career in a field where jobs were widely available.
The first person was focused on achievent whilst the second was focused on fear.
Based on the kind of life that I want, if I had to pick one of the two pieces of advice, I’d go with the first persons.
As much as stability is important so is enjoying (or at least liking) what you do.
A person might look at your life and tell you that things should be different.
That you should have pursued a different sort of career, that you should have more friends, that your relationships with certain people in your life should look a certain way.
That might be because they they think you’d be better off with things being different.
This is often based on the way things are or what they think is the right way to live.
It can be difficult to not take on the expectations and ideals of others. So if you’re ever close to conformity remember that different is good and sometimes it’s the best thing for you.
Most of us have some idea of where we’d like to be in 5, 10 maybe even 20 years time.
But sometimes the gap between now and then, is pretty hazy.
You know what you want but you’re not quite sure how you’ll get there.
And sometimes long-term plans change.
Maybe you happened to find something you care for more than what you’re currently trying to pursue. Maybe you realised that you don’t really want the thing you were working for. Or maybe you just feel like like doing something new.
For many people they actually end up having a better sense of direction when they change their plans. The gap becomes a little less hazy.
The reason for this is changing plans is a risk and they want it to be worth it.
I used to be the kind of person that would internalise everything.
For example, if I didn’t get the job I applied for it was because I wasn’t good enough and not that they had 7 excellent candidates and only one role to fill so not everyone could be a winner.
I could give countless other examples but me internalising those experiences all came from the same place, this feeling of not being good enough. It’s a strange realisation when you start to understand that the way you see yourself contributes to the way you experience life.
Once I started working on how I saw myself, my entire outlook on life changed.
I recently had this experience where someone was intentionally inconsiderate. In the past I’d have kept quiet, felt bad, got upset and allowed that one moment to ruin the rest of my day.
Instead, I responded by simply asking why this person chose to be inconsiderate.
I understand why some people might up being that way but it doesn’t mean they can’t change, if they want to.
Most of us have at some point looked back on our life and perhaps not wished but thought about what would have happened if we took a different path.
If you applied for that job in another city.
If you moved out of your family home sooner or maybe done it later.
If you started that project when you first had the idea instead of sitting on it for months.
If you didn’t settle for what the people around you told you to do for a career.
If you hadn’t been willing to accept so little from the people around you.
When you’re not happy with where you’re at, looking back on the choices you’ve made will rarely make you happier. But you do it because you feel like it’s too late to start over.
It might not be true but that’s how it often feels.
When you’ve set yourself up on a particular path, starting over and changing the course of your life feels too risky. It feels like all that came before was time wasted.
But if you want to give yourself the opportunity to be happier and more fulfilled, then perhaps starting over might be one of the best things you can do for yourself.