For those of you who have recently graduated from college over the past year or two, I'm writing to YOU today! I bet you're right around that period where you're thinking "I miss college why did I ever leave?!" - we've all been there. I graduated college about a year and a half ago and it has been a true struggle for me to feel like I've found my niche in the workplace. Some of us (sorry millennials - but it's not all of us) have spent the last year-ish wondering if we are in the right place, doing the right thing, in the right organization. I'm writing to you today to tell you one thing: stop worrying.
I know it's hard not to worry - about the money, the job title, the job description, the co-workers, the professional development, but I promise you are where you're at right now for a reason! In the midst of all your anxiety and thought about your current (or upcoming) position, there will be a moment of clarity - a deep breath. I just had mine after almost a year and a half of post-graduate life.
I exhaled my deep breath last week, when I woke up one morning before work to find an email from my alma mater, stating that I had been nominated for the upcoming 30 Under 30 class. As I read the email, I immediately started thinking about one thing: why. Why did I deserve this, and better yet, who thought I did? Then it all came in a rush: the past 365+ days. Every moment from graduation, to interviewing for different jobs, to accepting board positions, to struggling with landing the dream position, to every conversation/email/text I had sent to my professional contacts - it all blurred together into tiny little happy tears that I could not control at 7:30am on a week day.
The point of this is not to tell you that I cried one morning before work, it's to tell you that you're doing a really really good job already. I had no idea - not even the slightest thought - that I could ever be nominated for an honor like this one. As I texted my mentor to thank her for the surprising nomination, I thought to myself "wow, I actually have come a long way and have done a lot all before the age of 22". How sad is it that I never really saw that until now?
We are stuck in an age of comparison - especially the blogging community, where we constantly look at our accomplishments and label them as something less than what they are due to someone else's success. Stop doing that! Age is just a number, so are followers, and salaries, and GPA's and the amount of money if your bank account. No matter what you are doing with your life, you're doing something - and if you're not, it's time to start.
It's time to start giving yourself credit. It's time to take a deep breath and realize that whether you're in college, unemployed, juggling multiple jobs at once, or even if you are a CEO, you're making yourself into a pretty cool person and that's something to be proud of. Once you recognize how far you've come, others will recognize that too.
Once others recognize it, it's time to start recognizing where you have to go next.
Thank you to all of my professional connections and mentors who have helped me grow into the young woman I am today! Learn more about my recent productivity below: