Job Satisfaction and Fear of Failure

Job Satisfaction and Fear of Failure

For a little over a year, I had a great job. Or rather, the kind of job that looks great on a resume. When I got the job offer in September of 2017, I thought “I would be stupid not to take this offer!” I was making more money than I ever had before. The job came with more vacation days than I could use in a year, and extra perks like free lunches twice a week. It was the kind of job my friends were jealous of. The catch? I wasn’t happy.

“Nobody likes their job!” That was the most common response people gave me over the past few months when I expressed I had grown unhappy at work. I knew in my gut I wanted to leave, but that response made me feel like I should just suck it up. Like maybe I was overreacting and needed to just grow a thicker skin, because everyone else was in the same boat.

“If everyone is right and nobody likes their job, then I guess it’s just something I need to get used to and stop complaining about. Maybe seeking happiness at work is unrealistic. Will I be any happier at a new job? Maybe I’m the problem, and I’m just not fit to be in a 9 to 5 job! Maybe things will get better if I just try harder and stick it out…”

My inner thoughts over the past few months

I let other people’s opinions and comments about how “nobody likes their job” get to me. I decided that if I worked harder, and tried on a “fake it till you make it” attitude, maybe things would magically get better at work. The problem was, I didn’t feel passionate or satisfied with anything I was doing. I was burning myself out on a job I didn’t love. Before too long this started to reflect in my work. I wasn’t performing as well as I could have. Which only made my satisfaction at work plummet even more.

I’ve always been a perfectionist. I seek approval from others, as well as from myself. I so badly wanted to make this job work, to prove I was competent and capable and good enough. I was terrified of failure, of being judged, of what people would think of me if I didn’t succeed. It took me back to the feeling of being a teenager, scared of making anything less than an A in school. Or a 20-something avoiding sharing the news that my relationship had failed.

This blog provides an outlet for me to be vulnerable and talk about things that are difficult to admit. It forces me to share the less-than-perfect parts of my life. Little by little, I’m ridding myself of the notion that I need to appear perfect to everyone in my life. It’s so freeing to let go of that and just be open and honest. So here goes: I lost my job. I tried to make it work, and I failed.

It was a surreal experience because, like I said above, I wasn’t happy. I didn’t actually want to be there. But my fear of failure and of other people’s judgements was stronger than my desire to leave. The silver lining is that I’ve learned a lot from this experience, and changed my perspective on job satisfaction. My opinion is, if you truly are unhappy in your job, don’t ignore that! It’s okay to walk away. Don’t let fear of failure overpower your own happiness. Trying to force yourself to be happy never works. Ignoring those feelings will only backfire, and it will all catch up to you eventually. 

So where am I now? I’m what I like to call “happily unemployed.” I’m taking some time to really think about what I want and need out of my next job. Do I want to continue working in the social media field, or do I want to make a career change? This is the main question I’m asking myself as I assess my options and look for a new job. The main thing I’m feeling right now is excitement for the future. I don’t know where I’ll be a month from now, but I’m ready for a new beginning!

Have you ever felt stuck in a job you didn’t love? Do you agree with the idea that “nobody likes their job”? Let me know in the comments!

2017 Reflection: A Year Of Change

2017 Reflection: A Year Of Change

2017 tested my resilience. It was a year full of life changes which made me question what I thought I already knew about love, family, happiness, and life in general. It was tough, but I was tougher. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone more times than I can remember, and it all paid off in the long run.

In 2017 I accomplished a lot with my blog. I started an interview series, and got to talk with so many inspiring women, including one of my favorite Bachelorettes, Kaitlyn Bristowe. This past year also gave me the opportunity to organize my own Blogging Meetup Group, which lead to me meeting a lot of other bloggers in the Austin area. Perhaps the biggest step outside of my comfort zone, and a personal victory for me, came when I started my own YouTube channel. Though I haven’t posted a new video in a while, it’s something I’m looking forward to continuing this year.

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Me with Shawn Boothe, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Erin Oprea. Trying not to fan girl too hard! 

2017 also brought a lot more travel than 2016, with trips to Las Vegas and Crested Butte, two places I’d never been before, along with smaller adventures to Fort Worth and Fredericksberg. In 2018 I hope to travel to at least three new places. I don’t have anything planned yet, but judging from everything I accomplished in 2017, I’m sure I can make it a reality.

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After climbing to the top of Mount Crested Butte. Look at that view! 

As I mentioned above, 2017 really tested my resilience. A lot happened over the course of  about four months, including quitting my job before I had a new one lined up, letting someone back into my heart only to say goodbye for a second time, and adjusting to a new family structure I didn’t choose or want. I had to come to terms with the fact that change is inevitable, and the only way to survive in life is to move forward and stay grateful for what you still have.

Here I am at the start of 2018, and I couldn’t be happier with my new job; I’ve truly let go of my past relationship; and I’ve come to feel at peace with the new family dynamic. I’m really proud of myself for staying strong and remaining (relatively) optimistic throughout all of the hardships I faced this year. I’m so happy to be entering a new year with amazing friends and family by my side, and a renewed determination to make this the best year yet.

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What was your biggest accomplishment in 2017? What about your biggest hardship? I’d love to hear about your year in the comments below!

 

Handling Stress

Handling Stress

This week has been extremely busy and stressful. One of my coworkers that I work closely with is out on “paternity leave” since his wife just had a baby, so I have gotten some added responsibilities while he’s gone. Some of the work was expected, but some was quite unexpected. I’ve honestly been really proud of how I’ve handled the week so far, so I thought I’d use today’s blog to share what I have been doing this week to help control my stress.

Make To-Do Lists

I’ve always been a fan of writing lists, as I mentioned in this blog, and I especially recommend this if you’re having a busy or stressful week. It really helps to have something visual to reference when prioritizing your workload. There isn’t much in this world that’s more satisfying to me than crossing something off a list!

Ask For Help

Asking for help, or asking questions, is something I’ve learned to be better at over the years. I used to be afraid of asking for help, and always wanted to try to figure everything out on my own. However, I’ve definitely learned that it’s better to ask if you’re unsure about something. It’s also not a bad thing to ask for some support on something. For example, with my added responsibilities this week, I’ve had trouble keeping up with my normal everyday work. To remedy this, I started delegating work to our interns. They are always happy to help, and it is such a relief when they’re able to take things off my plate for me.

Think of the Future

I’ve found myself thinking “what would Future Shelly want you to do right now?” a lot this week. For example, I went in early to work yesterday, and stayed late today to knock off some of my to-do’s, simply because I knew I would thank myself later. Since I work a salary job, it’s hard to feel motivated to put in extra hours, as I won’t be paid extra. However, I had a lightbulb moment where I realized it’s better to get things over with today as opposed to putting it off. And I have to say, I think Future Shelly will be quite happy I put in the extra hours.

Make a Playlist

I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds music to be very soothing and therapeutic. I like to write down songs I hear on the radio and then make big Spotify playlists of all the new music I find. This week I’ve enjoyed blasting my playlist “Current Faves” on the way to work, on the way home from work, and even a few times at work. I’m one of those people who doesn’t have a problem with concentrating with music playing, and in fact I find it calms me and helps me focus at times. It also is always sure to put me in a good mood. As a matter of fact, I’m listening to my new playlist right now!

 

I hope you enjoyed reading my secrets to handling stress! Can you relate to any of these? Are there tricks you use to relieve stress that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

Handling Criticism

Handling Criticism

On Friday I got completely blindsided at work. One of our new clients sent us some feedback, and it was vastly negative. Some of it had to do with the work I have been doing specifically. This curveball was totally unexpected, and honestly kind of ruined my Friday.

I have always been a sensitive person, so taking criticism has predictably never been my strong suit. Although to be fair, is it really anyone’s strong suit? If it’s yours, please teach me your coping mechanisms. I think everyone struggles with handling criticism, because although we are all our own worst critics, hearing it from someone else hurts so much more. Especially when you thought you were doing everything right, and hadn’t gotten any hints or warning signs to make you think otherwise.

This blog is more of a rambling than anything else, but I just thought it might help to get my feelings down on (metaphorical) paper. I’m feeling better about the situation now that a few days have passed, but I definitely still have moments where I feel really down on myself and feel like it is all my fault, even though I know that is not the case.

I’m trying to turn that negative energy around and focus on how I can work even harder to not let something like this happen again. I know that to a certain extent it can’t be completely avoided; I am bound to run into more negative criticism of my work at one point or another throughout my career. I’m not vein enough to think otherwise. However, I do think it is a good learning opportunity and allows me to really think about how I can do my best at everything I undertake from now on.

Have any of you ever experienced something similar? How do you cope with receiving negative feedback or criticism at work, school or in your personal life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Exciting Life Update!

Exciting Life Update!

I have some great news to share with everyone! For those of you who have read this blog post from a few months back, you know that I have been searching for a full time job since my graduation in May, and was beginning to feel a bit defeated that I hadn’t gotten one yet. Well….drumroll please…I GOT A JOB!

So here’s how it happened: a few weeks ago a woman from a social media marketing agency that I interned for over the summer of 2013 emailed me to let me know they had a job opening, and wondering if I would like to meet for coffee to catch up and discuss the opportunity. Of course I said yes! It seemed like a great position and I had always raved about the agency to my friends and family and frequently referred to my experience there as “my favorite internship I’ve ever had” (I’ve had four total). We met and discussed the position, what I’ve been up to since we last spoke, and what I’m looking for in a job.

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I felt the conversation went well, but was slightly worried I didn’t have quite enough  experience for the job. Still, I was optimistic and couldn’t help daydreaming about what a great time I would have working there again. Flash forward to this past Friday, I get an email from the woman I had met with and she tells me they are offering me a position! I couldn’t believe my eyes! I got so used to hearing “no” that I almost couldn’t believe it when I finally got a “yes”, which is a little bit sad but anyone who has ever gone through the struggle of job hunting will relate I’m sure.

I am still smiling about it and can’t wait to get started on Monday! I’m excited to meet the new faces and say hi to the old ones, I’m excited to have a routine and schedule every day, I’m excited to learn new skills and use old ones, and mostly I’m excited to be a part of a team! I love the feeling of being part of a community, whether the community is my theater friends in high school, my sorority sisters, or now my coworkers!

The word ‘community’ is also relevant because it will be in my job title! I will be a Community Manager, which includes tasks like creating content for social media platforms, analyzing the engagement of audiences on the platforms, responding to customers online, and even writing blog articles! For anyone who knows me, all of this is right up my alley and is similar to what I have done at most of my internships.

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Thanks so much to everyone who wrote kind words on my blog post about not having a job. I hope this post brings hope to anyone out there who is still looking. Your perfect job will present itself before you know it, and all of the waiting will be worth it! If you’d like to keep up to date on my daily life and hear how my new job is going, follow my blog and follow me on social media! Since I’ll be working at a social media agency, I will have no choice but to keep up my personal accounts.

Twitter and Instagram: @shellycrossland