- Wise Words -
Maybe You Should Appreciate What You Have
*writer opted for anonymity
As a follow-up to my column “Careers Happen,” I wanted to do a piece for all those of you who are in a similar situation to me and have people frequently say: “you know you could be doing X or working for Y given your background.”
The answer to all those comments and people trying to tell me, albeit very sincerely, that I could be doing something else with my skill set, is that I am happy where I am!!! And that is okay.
The question is why are we trying to always sell short what we are doing work-wise. Why do we always think that the current position we are in, isn’t worthy of us? If everyone is too good for the jobs that we have than there is some issue with the marketplace of employers, not catering to the brilliant workforce that we all contribute to.
I personally have finally come to terms with saying quite emphatically that I work for non-profits, it is my forte and am very content in staying put in this sector.
It took me a while to get here and that’s because I was always conditioned to think that being a non-profit sector, I am not applying myself to my fullest. But here is the deal. I enjoy it, am really good at it on a few levels, and that to me should be enough vs. thinking that I have peaked and should look for something different, more challenging, and what everyone is thinking – where I will make more money. If you truly like what you do, continue to grow in some respect whether it is learning more about a specific aspect of your organization (in my case learning more about the how UK medical doctors stay board certified), and are not twiddling your thumb at work day dreaming about what ifs and more money, then you don’t need to justify your choice of staying in a long lasting job in an industry that values the fact that you have mastered the work you are doing and where you feel confident, recognized and let’s face it - comfortable.
I can’t be the only one who wants to be comfortable, am I? I like the luxury of knowing what I know, and not wanting to be bothered by the unknown unknowns because that is a recipe for going down a rabbit hole and being beholden to FOMO. I don’t even want to be bothered by the known unknowns because knowing what you know and knowing it well is already a feat and it should be okay to thrive in it.
As a side note, I do have FOMO in certain areas, but work isn’t one of them because when it comes to what I do for a living, by my age (close to 40), I have already chosen a profession that I want as defining my career. This is my comfort zone, and who wants to start getting uncomfortable at age 40 trying to do something that you may end up being really bad at and then resenting.
If you have FOMO when it comes to your career, figure out why you have it and ask yourself if you are actually disgruntled with your current situation or is it society dictating you to be constantly on the lookout for something better. You don’t even know what better looks like so how can you be sure you want that undefined something vs. what you have.
One thing that happens when you are looking around constantly for the next job or opportunity, you don’t properly invest in your current job or company so your growth at the organization is already taking a backseat for something you may or may not have in the future. Compare this to the investment in the status quo which will most probably yield something and surely more tangible, not to mention lower hanging fruit.
So if you are happy with where you are, I hope this column has reassured you that you are doing great and that actually maybe contentment is the highest level of achievement in this FOMO-world. Oh and for those who are always looking for that greener bit of grass, I hope that this has given you something to think about. Maybe where you are is not just good enough, not just a good "stepping stone" but is actually great!
For more on the topic of Career Management see: "Your Career As A Journey" and "Embrace Discomfort When Building A Career"
For more content written by Non-Profit professionals see: "Finding Your Type", "Keeping Focused", "To Move Up Sometimes You Need To Move Out" and "Questions For Your New Manager"
EarlyStageProfessional.com is the companion website to the career playbook "Early Stage Professional: starting off right". The goal of Early Stage Professional is to help people make the transition from formal education to the workplace and be effective, successful and satisfied in the first 5+ years of their careers. To learn more, head to our Bureaucracy page.