I worried about my career for as long as I can remember. Even when I was a student, I worried about what my career path would look like.
Every spring, social media is filled with images and advice from Commencement speeches. Although Commencement comes at the end of one’s educational journey, the word itself means that life now begins. What will it look like? Every spring, speakers give their advice about how to move forward in life and in a career.
I wish I’d cared less about this, in hindsight. It made me stressed all the time, thinking about “where I am” versus “where I should be.” It made me compare myself to others, which only ended in jealousy.
I worried about my title.
I worried about my salary.
I worried about my team.
I worried about my reputation.
I spent more time worrying than living, or enjoying where I was in the moment.
What about you? Are you worrying about where you are? Where you’re going? How fast you’re getting there?
There are good reasons to worry: rising inflation (how far will that paycheck go?), the fairness of salary levels without transparency, etc. But worrying itself doesn’t help or make a difference.
Instead, what does make a difference is acting, doing, and being. Here three ways you can stop worrying and start doing, to help your sense of self and your career.
- Start somewhere. Even if it’s small.
One of the biggest issues I had was feeling out-of-control when it came to my career. It felt like it was up to other people (which it was, in most cases) and that lack of control frustrated me. What I learned, over time, was that small changes that were in my control made a difference.
Some of those small changes were determining when and where I worked (in the office or at home), and doing other activities that propelled me forward. I focused on where I wanted to go and how to get there, and spent six months writing my first book before I left my full-time job.
- Learn, learn, learn
Marketing changes every 24 hrs. so it’s important to stay informed. That means reading daily newsletters, going to conferences and trade shows, doing online classes. I even hired outside agencies to learn new ways to execute.
I taught myself social media at a Fortune 500 company, using various internal resources, and that education was invaluable. What can you do, even if it’s small, to continue to move forward in your career?
- Build your personal brand
I know it sounds trite, but everyone is their own personal brand these days. Remember that. If I think about Janet Granger as a brand (the way I would for my clients), what can I be doing to promote myself and my career?
This thought process led me to start blogging as soon as I started my consulting business. I also took an online course on Instagram (Kat Coroy, which I highly recommend!), and I hired a professional team to create both my professional website and the Marketing Career Mentor platform.
When you are your brand, it means investing in yourself, which might look like taking classes, attending a conference, even getting help creating your LinkedIn profile.
If you’re in marketing and would like some personalized coaching and advice, sign up for my Weekly Office Hours and let’s talk instead of worrying!