Career Confession: Speed bumps hurt

I recently found myself extremely stressed about work. Just completely overwhelmed. You know the feeling when you think your eyeballs may roll right out of your head as your brain explodes? Yeah, I had that feeling. I said out loud, “Why didn’t I pick a career where I could just draw stick people and houses all day. Maybe a sun in the background with some grass and a flower?!” Nope, I decided to pick one of the most stressful career paths out there and at that moment reality seemed to just sucker punch me right in the face.

Well, I didn’t die, my eyeballs are still in my head and my brain is in-tact, so life must not be that bad. But my mini mental breakdown did get me thinkin’. From Is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life? to I bet I’d make more money selling my stick figure creations on Etsy, I couldn’t figure out why, after doing everything right, I’m still not 100 percent satisfied with my career.

Then I realized that, at almost 24, I’m not supposed to be 100 percent satisfied with my career. If I was, what would I do for the rest of my life? There’d be no motivation to do great things and we’re all made to do great things.

I also realized that I should be thankful to have a career in a field that I’m passionate about. I love that what I do has a positive impact on the world around me. And now I understand that my mini breakdown was just a little speed bump, telling me to slow down, breathe and focus on forging the path ahead. While it was my first speed bump, I’m sure it won’t be the last.

So what happens when you reach a speed bump?

  1. Remember what makes you happy. If a coworker or client drives you nuts, you’re at least doing work you’re interested in.
  2. If you find yourself in a rut, not liking your job, it’s not the end of the road. You know a lot of people at this point; start setting up those networking interviews.
  3. Make time for important things. Watch a movie, go shopping, get a tattoo, whatever you do don’t just sit and sulk.
  4. Don’t forget to smile. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are and will continue to keep pushing through. Plus, a smile looks much better than a frown 🙂

At certain moments you may feel like the world is spinning too fast. Through my experience, I’ve learned that you just need to push through and you’ll make it out alive. Lean on the support systems that you’ve built and just keep your head up. Speed bumps will come and go, so don’t forget about all the progress you’ve made.

What do you do when you hit those speed bumps in your career or life?

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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