• Eve Arnold

A Realistic Outlook for the Beginning of Your Career

What to expect, what is a realistic outlook for the beginning of your career?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

University see you later, corporate world here I come.

Smart bag? Tick.

Shirt and trousers? Tick.

Fancy pen? Tick.

We’ve got a one way ticket to success-ville. Promotion in six months. Next one six months after that. Team of 500 in about 3 years. And maybe CEO in 6? okay, 7.

I’ll break the news gently…

Don’t get me wrong, work will be fun. Meeting new, people learning about the business, figuring out your role and what value you are going to add. Fun, fun, fun. But then everything novel is fun. Once the novelty wears off, which I suspect will be between month four and five, you will be struck with a sense of overwhelming fear.

  1. Is this going to be what I do for the rest of my life?

  2. Is this my future? The next 40 years doing this?!

  3. What if I never move up? I need to move up now…

The following few months after this period I found to be the hardest. We proceed to give ourselves a hard time. Endless internet searches of how to become better, do more, achieve greatness. We worry about how far we are in life, what it all means and where we’re going. About this time you’ll start to look side-ways at what other people are doing, especially the ones that did the same course as you at Uni. And if they are doing better than you, well, it’ll be a right kick in the teeth. However, if they are doing worse, you can have a short-lived victory but you’ll probably be thinking in the back of your mind: yeah but they’re really good at teaching, they’ll be headteacher in no time. And then, they’ll be better than me.

We need to have a realistic outlook on our careers.

It is really hard to shake yourself out of this mindset. Life can be quite challenging at times and it’s easy to feel like we are on the conveyer belt never really getting anywhere.

Once we’ve concluded that we aren’t going anywhere, that this corporate thing is too slow and we don’t really know our place, we’ll turn to the internet. Once again.

We hit google with the following: “Best businesses to start in 2020” or “how to make money online in 30 days” — we just need to make some money, on our own terms, then we’ll be successful.

We’ll be bombarded with results… shopify site, dropship, sell on Amazon, Forex trade, create a YouTube channel, start an affiliate marketing company, learn to code, because a website designer, start a gardening business, resell on Ebay… the list goes on. I know, I’ve tried most of them.

I’ve been in that place of panic.

Shortly after you find all these wonderful ways of making ‘passive income’ you have a go.

Enter the short term effort that leads to no success and more misery. God this was literally my life. You will try Amazon but realise you have to put some money into it, it’s a crowded market and you’re not sure you are that passionate about football-shaped mugs. Forex trading seemed good but having looked into it it seems risky. Then again, there are several hundred different YouTubers trying to sell you the dream that it’s a brilliant source of income, if you just buy their course for $783. So you pass on that. Then onto affiliate marketing, dropshipping, shopify. All lead to the same outcomes.

And then somewhere between your 25 and 26 birthday you realise. The best things in the world are built with consistency. Brick by brick. Step by step. If you find yourself wanting to get to £200,000 worth of sales within the first month then you might be doing it for the wrong reasons. Figure out why you have such cold feet, why you are trying to latch onto anything that gives you the hope you can quit the 9–5. That’s the best place to start.

For me, it turned out that I actually quite liked my job. I just wanted to feel like I had a voice on careers and the subjects I’m passionate about.. hence the writing.

The truth is, as my grandad would say, “anything worth doing, is worth doing right”. Greatness, mastery, wealth — all those things take time. There is a reason why only a small percentage of people reach the top levels of financial success. Find something you enjoy, find something that holds your attention and then do it. And do it a lot. Don’t worry about the money. Worry about you loving it.

Effort vs. long term return www.careerhealth.info

It doesn’t all come to you at once either. Passion is a game. It’s a ship at sea that continues to sway. You’ll have days at sea that are glorious, the sun is shining, the air is crisp, life is good. And they’ll be days of thunder, darkness and numb hands. But through the dark days you appreciate the light.

You wont find your passion down the back of the sofa like a £1 coin.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain

And I agree. But I disagree that finding it happens in a day. Figuring out what you are passion about is like the moment you realised you’d fell in love. You don’t know when it happened, it happened somewhere a long the way but you can’t quite pinpoint when. All you know is that you do and you are.

Takeaways – A Realistic Outlook

So with that in mind, here a realistic outlook of your first few years at work:

  1. You’ll spend the first six months learning.

  2. People are hard to work out and it’s an ever changing battle to work out what the actual ‘ask’ is, what someone actually wants from you — getting this right could take a lifetime.

  3. Confidence takes time to cultivate, you’ll get good, then you’ll get knocked down and then you’ll get good again.

  4. Climbing the ladder takes time, you will be frustrated but you’ll also want to consider whether climbing the ladder is what you want.

  5. You may spend the first five years figuring out what you are good at and what you passion is (and what a good use of time that is).

Look, if you completed your career ambitions in the first five minutes of work it would be boring for the rest of your life. It’s important to have a realistic outlook for our careers. It’s about enjoying the time spent finding out what you love. Having the expectation that this will take as long as it needs to. And find fun in the unknown.

#Self #Work #Life #LifeLessons #SelfImprovement

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