Have you ever started spouting out advice to others because, subconsciously, you needed to hear it yourself?
I was on the phone recently with a young journalist I’ve been mentoring, who was feeling stagnant in her career. She’s only 21 years old (but it IS all relative) and she genuinely felt she was “being left behind” in the business. She was frustrated about her TV station not giving her opportunities. She’d been in her position for a year (again, all relative) and felt that management didn’t see her worth. She wanted to get out of her contract. She was anxious, antsy and nervous that she’d maxed out. At the ripe old age of 21, she felt stale.
I launched a lengthy diatribe about how each day she was on the air, she was growing and learning, even if it wasn’t verbalized to her. I started preaching about how, even if something is repetitive, we can make it worthwhile. Surely she hadn’t secured contacts all over town in the span of a year? Surely she hadn’t mastered the unique nuances of every city in her viewing area? I reminded her about perfecting her scripts and truly digging into the content of her newscasts. I told her that no good work, done with passion is ever worthless.
I realized, the reason my advice flowed so freely was because it was the advice I needed to take. Over the years, my career had moved somewhat quickly, from position to position. I set new goals and did everything in my power to make them happen. However, I’ve been in the same position for a couple of years now and lately, I’ve been feeling unsettled. I’ve been feeling low, for having not achieved everything just yet in my “grand plan” of life (which, of course, was constructed at the oh-so-wise age of 21).
So, I’ve reflected and re-committed. I don’t think I necessarily let my work falter but I did let the negativity of my thoughts get the best of me. I let my own self-imposed deadlines detract from the fact that I’m doing something I love. I forgot, for a moment, that my job is what I make it.
If you’re feeling stagnant in your career, I hope you can join me in zeroing in on being the absolute best, knowing that we’ll be growing and learning and becoming even more valuable each time we challenge ourselves.
Has anyone else felt like this? What advice have you doled out that should have actually been directed at you too? I’d love to hear from you.