Woke up feeling all sprightly at 6:15AM (thanks jetlag!) in sunny San Diego. Been basking in my fair share of Vitamin D (Snapchat crew ur welcome) since getting #homefortheholidays last week.
Naturally, there's not really anything better than getting to spend the holidays in Southern California... but there's one thing happening at all the festive parties that continues to bum me out.
My ears prick up at holiday get-togethers every time I hear something like this:
"I have to work on Christmas Eve, which succccks."
"It's Monday and I'm at work. Sooo, not great. How are you?"
"I took the whole week off, thank GOD."
"My boss is literally the devil. Haha."
Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Normal, even.
Even as #entrylevelboss career coach to the masses, I tend to just smile awkwardly and avert my eyes. You spent your whole year being bored/unhappy for 60 hours a week and you're joking about it? Why?
I read a quote recently that really resonated with me and I want to share with you going into the rest of the year:
Average talent works really hard to fit in. Exceptional talent works really, really hard to stand out.
The second half of this sentence isn't what hit me. It's the first part--about talented people trying their absolute best with the primary goal of blending into the crowd.
Hating your job is the norm. Stressing about your job is the norm. Thinking your job is boring, thinking that your boss is terrible... all the norm. And because 'everybody' does it, we pretend like that's okay when it's really just so not what's meant for you in the slightest.
Long story short, it would seem that 'the crowd' isn't always having a very good day.
Trust me: I know it can be straight up awkward to want something different than what your friends, peers, and family have.
When I was going through my own WorstYearEver™ in San Francisco, I felt super awkward and alone due to a lot of well-intentioned bad advice.
Friends and family told me to live for the weekend, pointed out that jobs aren't always that fun, suggested TV shows to get hooked on. I even got told to just shut down my brain in order to get through the day.
I kept thinking, "Not helpful. This feels like I'm so unhappy with my career that I can't see straight. Surely this is not how this is all supposed to go down from now until forever."
And as it turns out, I was right. I was not crazy for being unhappy or unfulfilled, and neither are you. Deciding in my gut that I didn't buy into the 'hating your job is normal' game was the first step towards building a better, stronger, dare-I-say-delightful career path for myself.
I really want the same for you. Longtime readers know that I roll deep in a passionate community of friends and peers who utterly adore their work (not just entrepreneurs, full-time jobs too!!!) to the point that we have to stop ourselves from talking about our careers from morning to night... because we get so dorky-excited about everything we're doing.
I want you to start picturing yourself as one of these people. Tune in during this holiday week and pay attention to how people around you talk about their jobs. And then, with grace, commit to straying from the crowd come 2017.
They may not say it out loud but I promise: If you do, by next Christmas, you'll be the envy of the party.
You have what it takes. I know it.
PS: In January, I'll be taking on a very limited number of 1-on-1 career coaching clients. More details to follow after the holidays. If you're starting a new job search (or continuing one) after the holidays and already know you want in, shoot me an email!
PPS: All me and mine are safe in Berlin. Thanks to all who checked in. Sending hugs right back.