Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Learning from the Past

In February of 2009, I was laid off from my first full time job after three years. The depression was taking its toll. My boyfriend and I had just broken up (and ultimately got back together) and my family was 3000 miles away. I accepted a position I didn't feel good about but assumed I needed to take because any job was better than living off of unemployment. But I was wrong. I was humbled and shaken to my core. But I moved on.

This month marks my three year anniversary at my current position. I hit a few hills and valleys, but for the most part am moving forward and learning to accept and embrace who I'm becoming. What that is, to be honest, I'm still not 100% sure of. But this is what I've accepted to help me get where I'm going:

1. Don't stop being amazed - our world, as crazy and as awful as it can get, is still utterly amazing. It's round and revolves so fast we don't even realize it. The sky turns all sorts of colors, there are millions of creatures on it and we're all unique. It can be so impressive if you let it.

2. Embrace your hobbies - work is great (especially if you enjoy what you do), but you shouldn't let your occupation define you. For example, when I'm not a marketing rep, I'm a soccer playing, guitar strumming, karaoke singing, race running, Jane Austen nut...and proud of it.

3. Don't settle - it's worse than failing. If your gut tells you it's time to move on, grab lunch, listen again, and evaluate where your next move should be.

4. Don't be afraid to fail - it shouldn't be taken lightly, mind you, but it's not the end of the world. Unless you're playing with something that could lead to the end of the world...and then maybe you should proceed with caution and get 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinions. If I find myself in that position, I promise to do the same.

5. Ask for help - parents, friends, mentors, bosses. For the most part, people have no problem lending a hand, offering advice, reviewing your thesis - but don't make them a crutch. And it is your job to follow through, not theirs.

I know there are others and maybe I'm missing a big one - but I'm not opposed to receiving advice. Learned something through your years of experience? Leave a note!

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