I have a daughter about to graduate college and I also have a friend
who is about to retire. What is wonderful about both of these scenarios is that both people are brimming with uncertainty and excitement.
It doesn’t get any better than that. Excitement fuels our every passion and uncertainty means we still have things to learn, adventures to venture through, and mistakes to make.
Neither of these wonderful people truly know what is ahead of them, but they can’t wait to embrace it all. Hence, uncertainty and excitement. To me, that is both awesome and inspiring.
So many people who fall between the two rungs of finding their first job and completing their paid pilgrimage, also known as a career, spend way too much time dealing with fear. I meet them every day. Their fears are real because they really do have them. Will I lose my job if revenue is down? Can I afford to send my kids to college? Will I blow the next meeting because I spent too long at lunch and not enough time preparing? Do my people really like me? Does my boss think I am insecure? Will the person who is about to interview me notice the pimple on my nose? And so on.
In the most practical sense these are all reasonable things to fear. After all, who wants to go in for a final interview with a large pimple on their proboscis? Not me.
However, when I reflect on my two people, I am hit by life’s obvious truths. Pretty much anyone who wants to find a first job will. Similarly, anyone who survives their career will have the next stage of their life to move on to. Everything that happens in between is not to be feared, it is just life. And life is what you make of it. There will definitely be difficult days to overcome, no doubt. But none of these days should dissuade us from understanding that our careers are there to be enjoyed to the full.
If those starting their careers, or finishing them, have only uncertainty and/or excitement running through their veins, why should we feel less for ourselves when we are in the middle of it all?
So, the next time someone comes to talk to me about career fear, maybe I will have a better answer than my previous efforts. Sympathy and empathy can only go so far.
Love what you do, with great passion. I know I do. Or, at least, most days 🙂