All in Career

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Redefining Failure and Moving Forward

It’s been six months since I graduated from university and if I’m perfectly candid, it’s been a rough ride. People keep telling me that it’s okay to not know what you’re doing at this stage in life. “You’re so young, take time to figure it out!”

I have been told some variation of that statement hundreds of times since April. As reassuring as it is to hear, I haven’t felt content with what I’m doing since I was in school. I miss writing every day. I miss being challenged, studying, learning new things and that fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants adrenaline rush I get anytime I’m working under a strict deadline. 

FROM THE ARCHIVES: What the Hell is "The Dream" Anyways?

I will never forget the night leading up to graduation that I had lain in my apartment crying and texting my brother about not wanting to celebrate my accomplishment. I had been through interview after interview yet had nothing to show for it. I felt like a failure. My parents and I had both invested so much money in this dream of mine and here I was, two weeks from graduating college and only having a part time job paying barely over minimum wage to show for it.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: On Finding Your Calling

On the greyest of days, my decision to take the comfy corporate job felt like a step back in the career I never had; a red mark on my shiny post-graduate résumé, previously filled with all things English major-y. And it was in the moments of restlessness that I couldn’t help but wonder… Did I sell out? Did I give up on my dreams too fast? Was I wasting my talents? My forty thousand dollar education?

Was it all for nothing?

Imperfect, Not Failing

Typically, if I know something is going to be imperfect I will probably not do it. Or, the second something starts revealing its imperfections I dip out. Relationships, goals, Wednesday night yoga—if I am standing face to face with imperfection I will use it as an excuse to distance myself from whatever the thing is. Because if imperfection means failure, and failure means making a fool out of myself in front of the whole world that is obviously watching and judging my life (I’m looking at you, Yoga Wizard behind me at the 6pm Vinyasa class), I need to get out of Dodge before shame and the opinions of others get some pitch forks and angry-mob-style force me out.

When Silence Tries To Tell You Something But You'd Rather Avoid It

Yesterday I challenged myself to take the entire day off—no work whatsoever, not even checking my email; social media, obviously, was a huge NOT TODAY SATAN. Laundry, errands, cleaning: a firm no. But from the moment I settled under my blanket on the blue chair with my coffee, I felt an intense urge to scrap this idea of no work and get busy anyways. It was as if my “no” to work suddenly ignited in me a rare motivation to straight-up OWN my to-do list. But my planner remained closed on my desk, taunting me with all the things I could be doing, all the progress I could be making. I had plans with friends later in the afternoon, but the whole morning was mine. What was I supposed to do if I couldn’t work?!

Why You Should Be Happy Your Job Sucks

But a year into this dream job, I had an emotional breakdown as I was working late to catch up on reports. After crying in my office, smearing the accounting reports with my tears and looking like a clown with my makeup all disheveled, I had an epiphany. This job was ruining me. I looked around and realized just how underpaid and toxic my work environment was. 

3 Things You Should Know As A New Leader

When you first start your career, and especially when you’re stepping into a management role as a new leader, you’re often given a ton of advice. Sometimes, it’s solicited. Other times, it’s not. Wading through all of the #fakenews can be hard, so we did the heavy lifting for you.

We teamed up with Coaches Avenue to determine three things you should know as you develop your career and leadership potential. These are things you may not have learned in college, but they are sure to bring you to the forefront as the “Most Likely To Succeed.” 

FROM THE ARCHIVES: What to Expect When You're Expecting (to Graduate), Part II

In the first post I wrote for this series I talked about not wanting to leave Nashville after I graduated at the end of this semester. I talked about my fear of losing comfort and the home that I have built in a city I didn’t have to be convinced into adoring. I even emphasized the point by writing three times in italics—I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave. When I went back to read this post five minutes ago, I almost laughed out loud into my mocha.

Since I wrote that post I have decided to stay in Nashville and the voice of fear that screamed loud about not wanting to leave screams even louder about not wanting to stay.

I don’t want to stay. I don’t want to stay. I don’t want to stay.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: What to Expect When You're Expecting (to Graduate), Part I

It’s 7 pm. The white Christmas lights that are lined with postcards from my semester abroad and the ones that are wrapped around my headboard are twinkling against their respective walls. There are two kittens curled up on top of each other at the foot of my bed and I have set up camp in the chair that barricades me into my “reading corner.” I just finished a short story I was assigned in creative writing that dug its claws deep down into my writer’s soul and as I type a Bath and Body Works candle spits fumes of vanilla marshmallow out into the air.

I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: 9-to-5ing

Coming from somebody who feels suffocated in a turtleneck, I was not about tying myself down to anything. I can’t even buy a pair of shoes without feeling like I’m signing a contract with myself. There was no reason not to take the job really, since I spent all of the past year buying Tostitos and wine and was in no position to pass it up. But I wasn’t ready to give up the dream of traveling/writing/starring in my own television show, with the “I don’t belong in khakis and I want to be free” mentality.

Go At Your Own Pace

I know I’m not the only young person in this situation. So many people in their twenties, sometimes thirties even, are completely unsure of what they want to do with their lives—myself included. I’m used to hearing certain thoughts creep into my head, such as, “Why am I even here right now? Shouldn’t I have my own apartment, a job, and some sort of really amazing, glamorous life by now?” This especially happens after I see updates from my friends (and former classmates) on Instagram, Facebook, the whole shebang.

Self-Deception Is The Worst Deception

All of these self-deprecating thoughts caused me to have an extreme amount of stress and anxiety during the entire semester. I made each assignment more difficult than it actually was by reminding myself that I was not smart enough to do the work, which resulted in a ridiculous amount of late nights in the library and all nighters.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: What You Should Know About Waiting

Over coffee one weekend, my friend poured out her thoughts in the vein of frustration with her first full-time gig after college. Her angst was stemming from the general discontent of routine and the initial feeling—3 weeks in—that her job was meaningless and seemingly dead-end.

As I listened, I felt the ping of familiarity with these sentiments—feeling discontent with the present and frustration of waiting for the future.

She asked me, “How long does it take for this to go away?”