Two Times When You Should Let Your Ambition Rest

So you’ve landed the dream job or at least the first step to your dream job, then what? As an individual who went from grad school to grad school drop out to intern to copywriter and now editor in the span of a year, I have finally entered the industry I’ve wanted and yet Ambition, like an annoying monkey stuck on my back keeps me asking, “What’s next?”

Ambition, passion, and drive are important, but sometimes it’s good to realize that getting where you want will take time. You might be in your early twenties envying the woman in her 30s who has your “dream job” or you might be out of college and just envying the employed. Wherever you are and wherever you want to end up, sometimes you need to remind yourself that it’s ok to rest for a while on the career ladder.

2 scenarios where you should step back and breathe:

1. I cannot figure out what I want to do with my life!

When you leave college, a graduate program, or transition jobs, you might try and find that one special something which will help you get up in the morning, grab your cup of coffee and make you want to go to work. Finding your passion can happen overnight for some people while others take years exploring different passions. Sometimes it’s enough to be happy with where you are because you can’t force inspiration, you have to explore different avenues and hopefully what you really want to do will come through.

2. I have my dream job but now what?

Personally, I find myself grappling with this position all the time. I am finally on the career path and know where I want to make my living, but up until now there has always been another goal. You worry about the next assignment, succeeding on the next project, and wondering how long it’ll take before I’m CEO (just kidding on that last one). One of the dangerous things about ambition is that once you’ve set out and achieved your short-term goals, the long-term goals take priority. If you’re like me and you’re not patient, waiting for the next step of success can be excruciating. Find the ability to “be in the moment” and enjoy the learning process, laugh at your mistakes, and remember, patience is an evil virtue which we all must alas, practice.

Patricia Brehm

Patricia Brehm works as an associate editor for two trade publications. Her past career experiences have included working as a marketing associate, social media guru, and copywriter for a series of small businesses as well as an editorial and marketing intern.