Being Content in Your Season
Being goal-oriented and extremely focused is often the hallmark of a career-driven woman. These qualities help set us apart in interviews and serve as catalysts for job promotions. They don’t, however, assist us in feeling content within our seasons of life and career.
From the days of middle school, we’ve looked toward the future - high school, then college, maybe graduate school and of course our career. But at some point in there, we grow discontent with our season. We become frustrated and unengaged because we wish so badly to be at another point in our career.
Discontentment is one of the worst things for your career because it impacts so much more than just how you feel about your schooling or your job. It also affects your work ethic, your internal drive to succeed with current tasks, the way you interact with peers and colleagues, and so much more. This is why you gotta stop it in its track and work to find your contentment in this season.
When I was in grad school, I had a really hard time being content with where I was with my assistantship and internship. I really enjoyed and loved both of them, but at the same time I was SO READY to be a professional staff member. I was ready to talk one-on-one with students and review their applications and all the things I saw the full-time folks doing. I hate to write this, but I became resentful and so frustrated when others weren’t pulling their weight on the team, simply because I wanted so bad to be in their role. Luckily I graduated and got a full-time job before the discontent became too bad. But still, it was ROUGH for those last few months.
There were a couple things that helped me through those few months and that come to mind each time I feel that discontentment creeping in. Learning not to dwell on the difference between where you are and where you want to be can be really hard, especially when a family member or friend asks how things are going, but I tried really hard to refrain from venting about it because it just made me feel more frustrated. No season is permanent. Just like the leaves drop from the trees as we enter winter, the same happens with our career and its okay if you have to remind yourself of that.
Reciting an affirmation or mantra to reframe my contentment has also helped a lot. I pinned this quote: “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do,” by Oprah Winfrey, a week or two after I created my Pinterest account in 2013 and it has stuck with me throughout each season of school and career. I go back to it every so often and it still instills in me the same feeling as when I first read it all those years ago. Find a quote that that resonates with you too and save it as your phone background or put it by your desk at work!
Something that’s really important to remember, especially as you enter a full-time career, is that there are almost always going to be things that frustrate you in any position. The grass is always greener on the other side, but reminding yourself why you love your position or the people with whom you work can help you recognize how much the season you’re in is important to you.
IF YOU LISTEN TO NOTHING ELSE IN THIS POST, PLEASE BELIEVE THIS - searching the classifieds and job listings is going to do NOTHING but continue to breed that discontentment. Don’t do it to yourself unless you are truly ready to start over in a new position. HR managers write position descriptions and classified listings to be attractive; you better believe that there are things in that position too that aren’t perfect.
Sometimes being content with where you are, when you have bigger goals and aspirations is hard, but its worth it when a new challenge comes up organically and you can show just how much you’re ready for it! Do you have tips for keeping discontentment at bay? Share what works for you in the comments!