I’m about to wrap up a job contract, and I’m looking back at who I was at the beginning and appreciating how much I’ve grown since then. This job, at first, was a welcome change of pace and industry from my old soul-sucking job in 2014. I knew that it was kind of a step down from what I was used to, but I knew that it was a step forward on the path that I had set out for myself. Yes, I was working for a non-profit and working with young people – but the role was something I had not wanted. I went in dreading the workload and fearing what would happen to me and how others would see me.
That fear pretty much dictated my attitude towards the job for the first several weeks. It took a lot of prodding from my career coach and practising trust in myself to help me feel better about the work. And the job did get better. I realized that having an internal support system can make or break your experience. Everybody has helped me become a better team leader and a more patient, confident, quick-thinking person. And they helped me relearn a few fundamental things about myself.
I recognized (again – these kinds of lessons have to be repeated) that I care a lot about my work and what others think of me. That was why I was always so stressed and nervous about the work. Eventually, I learned how to talk myself out of this stress. I learned to plan ahead and work smarter, not work more. I also learned to focus on the positive and work with it, rather than get caught up in the one thing that did not go well. This experience ended up being one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve had, and of course, I am discovering this now just as I’m finishing up.
I just hope to bring this clarity, perspective, and gratitude with me in other parts of my life.