Consider This: You Are Not Alone
Before I started this blog I thought I was the only person on the planet that had my problems. I had just gone through a breakup. I wanted out of my job and career path. I was growing apart from lifelong friends. Essentially, I was a 26 year old guy who had lost his direction. I felt alone and this loneliness would sometimes creep into bouts of depression which effected my work and personal life.
I remember going on a weekend solo trip to to the quaint New England town of Dover, New Hampshire to temporarily escape my life in Boston and reconcile with my situation. As I strolled the small river that trickled past downtown Dover I remember thinking to myself that ‘surely I could not be the only person in the world who feels this way. Surely, there must be others who feel just as lost as me.’
The world was far too vast for me to be truly alone. So on that day I decided I was going to start an anonymous blog where I could voice my troubles and tribulations. It would be my outlet for the thoughts that crowded my head. At worst, no one would understand. At best, there would be hundreds or thousands out there who resonated with my story. The only choice I had that day was to start writing.
Two years later, I can say that this blog helped to save me and continues to save me to this day. I have met many people from around the world who understand and who are going through their own struggles. The very fact that you’re reading this right now makes me feel like the blog has served it’s purpose. This blog has enabled me to see that in fact I was never alone after all.
You too are not alone. No matter how unique your situation might feel there are other people who understand. There are other people to lean on. It’s up to you to find your own way to open up, but once you do magic will start to happen.
Life Hack: Act As If You Are
When I was first coming up in the corporate sales environment in Boston I was petrified of anyone who held a higher position than me (which was everyone). I would sit at my desk all day and then when I had to get up to get coffee or use the bathroom I would try to avoid awkward confrontation in the hallways. If I saw an executive coming down one line of cubes I would change my path to act as if I was going to the printer. I was scared of talking to anyone because I thought I was not worthy. Who was I, a kid in his early 20s, to talk to a seasoned VP? Surely they had no interest in what I had to say.
However, after getting passed over for several promotions I realized I had to change my approach. If I were to progress in my career I would have to get over this fear of talking to managers and executives. I had to stop being invisible. While speaking up in meetings and saying hello to executives in the elevator made me extremely nervous I developed a new mentality that helped me get over this and that I still use to this day: I pretended to be confident.
Here’s how it works: just before I was likely to run into an executive in the hallway or in a meeting I would switch my mentality by “acting as if I was a confident person.” And even though deep down I had nervous twitches in my stomach, this confident facade I put on helped me to confront these previously terrifying situations. After I started applying this approach I noticed two miraculous things: 1) My confident demeanor caused the other person to respond well during the interaction and 2) these executives weren’t as scary as they appeared.
This tactic served me well in the corporate setting for several years as I was able to build on this new “confident” persona. I took it into meetings and presentations until one day I actually was confident. Within a year my reality had completely changed and so had my career trajectory. Next time you’re feeling like you can’t do something, act as if you can. See the magic that unfolds.
Career Hack: 8 Questions to Find Your Next Career Opportunity
Your twenties can be a time of great career uncertainty. If you’re anything like me, you graduated college with only an inkling of what you want to do in your career and then your thrust into the working world forced to figure it out on the go. This results in many missteps and false starts. The biggest mistake you can make, however, is feeling as though you are inevitably stuck in the career path you chose out of college. There is always a way to pivot or to start yourself anew. I know a cop who left the force and went into financial services at the age of 30. I know an Account Manager turned digital nomad. I know a salesperson turned yoga instructor.
The point is that you have the choice to change your path. The tricky part then becomes, how do you determine the right path this time around? Fellow personal development blogger Mike Fishbein breaks down 8 key questions to finding your next career opportunity. In this article, Mike guides you through the key steps to help you reflect on the right opportunity for YOU. Should you change industries? Should you start your own business? It’s all here in this article where Mike creates a roadmap to finding the right career. Thanks Mike!
Quote of the Week:
“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” – Virginia Satir