So often we hear about the overnight success stories – a fluke discovery, a social post gone viral, a casual blog turned industry mogul, a first time audition turned major motion picture star.
Now, I don’t want to be famous, but I do want to make an impact in my sphere of influence. I do want to be recognized in my field as someone who does great work and inspires someone else to do the same.
Sometimes the constant striving and hard-to-see progress makes me wonder about the nots and the rights. If I’m not in the right place at the right time. If I don’t have the right skills or enough of them. If I’m not going in the right direction.
Enter Giuliana Rancic.
I’ve watched her reality show and thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to randomly land a fun, glamorous job talking about the entertainment industry and fashion on tv that happens to lead to meeting a successful, handsome husband that leads to having tons of resources and opportunities that make it easy and possible to start other successful, fun, interesting businesses?”
Of course, and thankfully, that’s just not the case. Giuliana recently did an interview with The Everygirl, where she talked about submitting her reel to E! at least 20 times before getting a shot. She had to face rejection and apply over and over again until finally one day, she got the call.
For all my wondering about what’s just right, I’ve never been so encouraged by being just plain wrong. Just because something is hard work and not happening right away doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen. More people than you might think get where they are because they work hard and relentlessly.
When I graduated college I was never really sure what I wanted to do with my career. I knew I wanted to work hard, be creative, and love what I did everyday. I knew I wanted to be independent and have great clothes. I knew I wanted to have a dog to run with and a car that would work. But beside that, I was clueless. I don’t think I knew what options were out there for a Marketing major. And the truth is, 3 years later (omg how has it been three years?), I’m still figuring it out.
I find it frustrating, though. I like the idea of having a life plan. Something to think on and know where I wanted to go and then figuring out the steps to get there. I want that so badly. But I don’t.
Over a month ago I made a big career jump and left my agency job for in-house marketing. I worked at a tight knit agency that felt like home and was surrounded by people that felt like family. I left for a big corporate job with longer hours, a pay bump, more responsibility and the ability to work more on the things that I’ve so far enjoyed. I’m still deciding if it was a good choice.
Man, it’s hard. It’s hard navigating your career. It’s so hard to know if the steps you are making are the right ones to get somewhere where you’ll be happy. I feel like it’s easy if you’re someone who is just looking for a job to pay the bills and for vacations. You look at each new job opportunity at face value. Do you like the responsibilities, company and coworkers? Then you’re golden. But for those of us tortured by the importance of our career to our happiness, even what seems like a great job might not be the right step on our career paths. There’s fears of being pigeon holed, being stifled, missing out and whatever else keeps us up at night tossing and turning over career decisions.
All we want is to be making the right career steps to get us to a place that we want to be – even if we don’t know what that is yet. I don’t have the answer for this yet. But all I can do is follow my gut, listen to my mentors and maybe try not putting so much pressure on my career (easier said that done). Change can be good (although I tend to try to avoid it). I’m happy with a lot of things about my new job and I miss a lot of things about my old job. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed this all works out in the end?