To be successful, there is no easy way to the top. If you want to get to the top of the mountain, you have to walk uphill for quite some time. The journey is hard, it's long, and the taller the mountain-the longer and difficult the climb is. But, when you get to the top, the views are incredible (so I hear). As we go on, we start to see the light starting to shine through. With every step, we get closer than we were before.
I have found that we often times put a lot of pressure on ourselves when it comes to our personal journeys and successes. I am guilty of it too, I catch myself on social media comparing myself to others. We see those pictures of others "at the top of the mountain" and wonder how they got there.
What you didn't see, is the injuries they sustained on their hike. The moments they got lost, the times they tripped and fell. The blood, sweat, and tears. We just see that photo of the view, the pride on their faces when they get there. It is important to remember, no one is posting their failures.
When we see others on social media living in New York City in their own apartment, buying nice things, getting promotions (the list goes on), we start to put expectations on ourselves of “this is where I need to be”. You never know anyone’s real financial situation, so it is important in this situation especially to not compare yourself to others. In no particular order...one could:
A. Be receiving help from their parents
B. Have saved a lot of money and sacrificed their finances in the past to be able to live the life they are living
C. Living paycheck to paycheck
D. Could be in debt
E. Worked hard in school and past jobs to be where they are today
Regardless of the situation others are in, it is important to note that there is no “right” way of doing things, ESPECIALLY financially. You have to do what is best for you. I am guilty of this myself, I have (and still live) with caviar dreams, tuna fish budget (shout out to RHONJ Margaret Josephs). We need to remember most of us are not going to be rich in our twenties, AND THAT IS OK!
When I was at my first job, after a year in I thought I knew everything in my entry-level position and was entitled to a promotion. I didn’t realize it at the time, but even though I was “ready” then, I still had so much opportunity to learn. You can ALWAYS be learning! I actually ended up taking another entry level position almost two years into my career, making it a little under three years making entry level salary. I was financially independent living on my own, and was so stressed out. I was sad I couldn’t afford the lifestyle I wanted. In addition, I felt like I was never going to get where I so badly wanted to be in my career.
When I would be passed up on a promotion, I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I didn't understand why it wasn't happening for me, I was doing everything I could. I blamed myself, I was hard on myself. I was watching others around me get there, and I wasn't. I was comparing myself.
Everyone kept telling me “it’s all about timing”, and low and behold, they were right. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! You are capable, and I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Just because you don’t move as fast as others, does not take away from your value or potential. It is all about timing and finding the perfect fit. It will happen when it is right for you.
Although I felt that I was “behind”, and like I wasn’t making as much money as others my age-what I ended up gaining from those experiences was more knowledge and benefits to my career growth in the long run. I took the time to learn as much as I could, and to figure out what I truly loved doing. It just was at a slower pace than others.
It is okay to not be moving up the ladder at the same speed of others. Your time will come!
Learning Skill Sets:
When you are in the first few years in your career you don’t realize it at the time, but you are gaining so many skill sets to set you up for your future. Whether you are in sales and are constantly communicating with others building connections and learning strategy, are in operations where you are learning different systems, equations, algorithms. Whether you are a teacher and are building lesson plans and experiencing different children in classrooms year over year, or whether you are a hair stylist/beauty guru and are learning different products and techniques. You are evolving, you are getting better with each day, you are LEARNING!
Recognize when you are learning, and appreciate the opportunity to do so. Even if you are great at your job to begin with, if you take the time to learn-you are only bettering yourself and your future. You can’t fake your way through experiences and skill sets.
Going through the tough times builds character, and makes success that much sweeter when you get it. If you don’t learn what it is like to struggle, then you don’t appreciate the wins as much. I truly believe you have to earn your place (in anything) to reap the benefits. Nothing worth having comes easily!
In addition, going through the rough patches makes you a great leader. When you eventually start to experience the growth after taking the hard road, you become more aware of other's that are going through what you had at one time. You can become a mentor, a role model, a leader...helping others by talking about your journey giving tips and motivation in how you got there.
Started from the Bottom...NOW WE HERE:
Let’s talk about entry-level positions. I have talked to a lot of people, and more often times than not they say “this is not what I want to be doing” and get discouraged in the industry they are in. Let me repeat this 1,000 times…you are not going to have your dream job straight out of college. If you do, you are the one of the rare, lucky ones! I believe you have to do what you have to do, in order to do what you want to do.
Entry-level positions are hard, and a lot of times one of the hardest jobs you will have in your entire career. The good news is, if you can handle and succeed in those positions, you can handle anything. Think about it, if you want to be a powerful person in your future within a company-you have to gain the knowledge first. No one has woken up (besides royalty or inheritance, i guess), and became the leader or CEO. Learning isn’t easy, and you don’t become an expert overnight. But, if you keep your head down, do what you have to do, and show your potential while doing so-the world will be your oyster. Hang in there, and remember that everyone above you has been there!
IT'S THE CLIMB!:
That’s all for now, FWF’s. When you work hard, eventually the results will pay off. It’s like exercising, you don’t see the results overnight, and sometimes you get down on yourself wondering why you aren’t making any progress when you are working so hard. But, one day you wake up, and everything has changed. Remember not to lose faith, your time WILL COME, and all of your hard work will pay off.
"There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb"
Wherever you are on your journey, enjoy and soak in every second. There is light at the top of that mountain, and if you're dedicated and persistent, it will start to shine through.