Sometimes we stop ourselves from doing the things that we want to do because we put others above ourselves.
We choose to consider how our actions might make someone else feel, as if that is our responsibility. It often results in not doing the things that we want to do.
In the moment, it might feel like the right choice but in the long run it often leads to regret or resentment.
It could be staying in a ‘good job’ when you actually want to pursue something that is held in a much lower regard by the people you know, maybe it pays less too. You’re worried that people will tell you you’re making a mistake, of the looks you’ll get at the family dinner when they ask how work is going, you want to please your parents and you don’t want other people to think that you’ve regressed.
So, you stick with your current job that you’re no longer interested in.
Overtime you grown to resent those people around you because even though they’re happy with where you’re at in life, you’re miserable. It feels like it’s their fault. But, deep down you know that your misery comes from you caring about other peoples opinions more than you care about making yourself happy.
The lesson here is to learn to put yourself first. How you feel about your life and the choices you make matters so much more than what other people think.
Your job is to create and then put it out there.
It might not get the amount of views you want or it could be loved by millions, that is not something you have any control over.
It’s not your job to try and convince people that your work is good. In fact, you need to learn to be okay with the fact that some people won’t like it.
Focus on creating your work for the people that want it. That might only be a few to begin with but those people are important.
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.
Some things are meant to happen but that doesn’t mean they’ll be easy or that they won’t make us sad.
But we often have a way of making these things worse.
We often think that ‘bad’ things or inconvenient things aren’t supposed to happen instead of just acknowledging that they’re apart of life.
Things like heartache, rejection, stress or challenges in life.
I’ve learnt that these situations often end up so much worse because of how we react towards them.
For example you don’t get the job you wanted and you react by thinking that there must be something wrong with you, that it’s hopeless, that you’ll never find a job.
But in reality every human that has ever lived has experienced rejection at some point. People get rejected from jobs all the time because when 10 people are interviewed for one vacancy there can only be one winner.
A good tip is to train yourself to acknowledge these things as a part of life and have a plan for how to manage them. So, maybe the next time you get or feel rejected you can just take it for what it is instead of internalising it.
You might feel frustrated but all is not lost.
In a previous post I wrote about job satisfaction and I thought it might be useful to delve into some practical tips. It’s all good and well telling someone what to do but it’s sometimes helpful to tell them how.
So, let’s say you work in an office and your manager is not much help with anything that you need help with. It could be about the work you do or maybe even career progression etc.
What do you do?
It probably gets frustrating but it’s always useful to remember that you always have options.
First up, ask for what you want/need?
Ask confidently, ask a second time.
Don’t be afraid to call people out (politely) when they don’t follow through after assuring you that they’d do xyz.
If you feel like it’s not working, ask someone else.
Chances are even though a manager is their as a main point of call, there’ll be someone else that can help you and someone else that will.
Lastly don’t expect too much from people.
Yes, ask for help when you need it but don’t be reliant on others to drive your ship, they have their own stuff to do too.
Let’s delve into a topic that matters. But first cue the music *plays satisfaction by the rolling stones*.
If someone asked the question of what would make you happier in your current job, what would you say?
If the answer is more money, think again, think about the job itself.
Some possible answers could be:
To be less stressed
Work less hours
To feel more connected to the people you work with
To work on more interesting projects
To learn a software or a new skill
To have a manager that’s helpful
To feel heard
To be recognised for the work you do
To feel valued
Some of these could probably apply to life in general and I’m guessing the same could be said for whatever is on your list too.
A lot of us settle when it comes to what we do for a living then get surprised that we’re unsatisfied.
If you decided to work in healthcare because you were taught it was a good stable job and you got scared into believing that an ‘unstable’ job would be too risky, sure you might grow to like what you do but you also might not.
If you make choices based on the belief that you can’t get the things you actually want, well then you’re probably not going to get them.
Now let’s get back the list and against each point write down what you can do to make them happen. And what you will do if there’s any pushback.
After a month or so you’ll probably notice some changes in how you feel about your job.
If not you can always get a new one.
You don’t have to grin and bear it.
That thing you’ve been working on could be the reason you end up quitting your job or it could just be a labour of love.
That word just has a way of diminishing the words that follow. It makes it seem as though a labour of love is a bad thing but it’s not, at least not to me anyway.
Not every project or thing you work on is supposed to be how you earn a living or even make you money. And it’s not about promoting the idea of the struggling artist who puts their heart and passion into all that they do but can’t make ends meet.
It’s about the person that works as a receptionist but leads a conservation volunteer group on the weekends or the Math teacher that also paints.
The significance, importance or worthiness of what you do should not be based on how much money you make or even how popular you are.
I think creativity, vulnerability, connection, generosity and joy matter so much more.
There’s got to be another way.
When it comes to work I don’t believe that you should hate it.
I don’t believe that you should drag your heels to your place of work, then exhale a deep sigh of relief as you leave on a Friday because it’s finally the weekend and you’re free.
If you don’t like where you’re at try something else and yes it is that easy. I’m not saying quit your job, that would be quite silly of me.
I’m saying if it’s really that bad, look for things you’re interested in and start applying.
How much better would it feel and how much happier would you be if you actually enjoyed what you do for a living?