If there’s anything I’ve learned in my 10 years of employment, it’s that there’s no such thing as a perfect job. I believe in career goals and aspirations, but career perfection? Not so much.
It is this particular realization that has helped me get through some troubled times as of late (aka – a love/hate relationship with my current job). On some days, I’m content going about my usual and somewhat tedious duties, aware that I am lucky to have a job at all, much less one that is in my field. On other days, I feel like walking out of those corporate doors and never looking back. But who hasn’t been there?
The more I talk to my friends, family and mentors, the more I realize that NO ONE is ever 100% satisfied with their jobs. Because while one job may entice you with its high salary, it may also cause you stress and constant pressure to the point of health problems.
And while that contract job may not offer you security, it can potentially push, motivate and steer you in the right direction of where you want to be. Then there’s those painfully low-paying jobs that offer you other incentives such as regular hours, a great work environment and flexible vacation time. There’s always some sort of trade-off, and the more I remind myself of this fact, the happier I am, both at and outside of work.
At the end of the day, a job is just a job. It should not define you and take over your life, but rather enhance it. My problem, for years, was that I defined myself almost entirely upon my career. I thought it was the only way I would ever be viewed as “successful” both in my own eyes and that of others. And ultimately, that sort of thinking led me towards a downward spiral of frustration, disappointment and depression.
It’s hard to appreciate what you have when you’re always looking for something better. And it’s hard to feel good about what you do when you never stop and reflect upon your progress.
Last night, I attended the Capital Awards Gala hosted by the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators)—and while I’m not always a fan of those glitzy PR events, the one last night helped remind me how important it is for professionals (from all industries) to celebrate their achievements, both big and small. For a second, I remembered all of the great projects I’ve worked on, many of which I should be damned proud of!
Sometimes, I forget how far I’ve come with my career, and my post today serves as a little reminder to all of you. As the old, tested and true statement goes: “The grass is always greener…”