Is your career journey far from perfect? You inspire me!
Let’s forget about social media for a second. I know, crazy right? But in real life we live in communities, and more concretely, in groups of 100 to 150 people. Within these groups, we collaborate and share resources. From these large groups we co-exist within pods of 5 to 8 people, where we care about each other deeply. That’s reality.
Now back to the world where social media exists. Many of us have hundreds or even thousands of friends, contacts and followers. For many of us, social media and its audience is a place where we try to shine and show our success. We need that reassurance, that pat on the back, saying: “you are doing great” or “you’re killing it!”
On social, especially, on LinkedIn I see people getting promoted, landing big jobs with important titles and celebrating success after success. Many stories I see go on repeat saying exactly something like this:
“When I graduated from collage, I did not know what my next steps would be. Only a few weeks later, I was offered an internship with a great company.”
“I was asked to join the growing team in a full-time roll. Years went by and I was promoted to be a lead position and a role where I was truly challenged, but loved what I was doing as I partnered with fantastic business leaders and colleagues.”
and also …
“My colleagues believed in me and I was able to soak up so much from being around them. And now, I am so excited to embark on a new journey. To become a part of an incredible company and a new team…”
It made me think about my own career path. And don’t get me wrong — it’s great if you land your dream job, get promoted, meet mentors and inspiring people. You should enjoy and celebrate those events because you probably worked very hard for them.
But what about the rest of us? How about someone like me whose career was more like a roller coaster than a growing linear line of success?
I wish there was more space for people to talk about their f**k ups, career mistakes and lack of support.
Where I could openly say that during my job in politics I learned a lot but also was overlooked a lot. In the corporate world, I experienced everything from the perks of running big campaigns with even bigger budgets and the luxury of cooperating with creative and media agencies, but was also bullied and had my self esteem diminished regularly. Now, I am trying out the freelance thing, but have already faced enough “no’s” it’s confusing and who knows what else is to come.
But what I’ve realized is that people whose career paths are less than perfect are the ones that inspire me the most and push me forward.
I am talking about the people who’ve struggled, were fired, had to quit their jobs to take care of a loved one or decided to start a family instead of pursuing the next step on the ladder. Those who undervalued themselves too many times and those who did not have support from colleagues or mentors. Not to mention those who were overlooked for promotions time after time as well as the people who allowed themselves the time to get lost before they found and renewed themselves.
I really believe that this openness and vulnerability in our careers will create freedom and space for us to begin again.