If you don’t know, ask.
My first job out of college was at a credit card company in the suburbs of Chicago. The place had great job security and lots folks I worked with had been there 10+ years.
I am constantly worrying about the future, and about what my life will look like 10, 20, 30 years out. So, I decided to get out of my own head and ask.
I reached out to people that I reported to, worked with, and respected at the company. Fifteen of them to be exact. And asked them all the same question…
“What are you most excited about?”
I got a lot of different responses, but none of them were the right-side of inspirational.
The best answer was from someone a few years older than me. They said, “I guess I kind of like my grad program…”
The worst answer was from someone 10-15 years ahead of me. Who said, “I just got divorced. I want to quit. But, now I’m stuck.”
Woof… I was stunned.
These were not glowing visions of an exciting future.
Having these discussions gave me insight into how I was feeling at the time and helped me realize that I was looking for something different. In my early 20’s, I wanted to be working on something more exciting.
Soon after, I quit. Beginning down a new, less-stable, but much more exciting path.
Stability vs. Excitement
Jumping ahead – I am not nearing the end of 20’s, with 30 right around the corner and look back at these early conversations and the impact they’ve had on my life.
It shaped so much of my early career, but now I try to look deeper. I try to read between the lines.
I still love asking this question, but I know that life doesn’t always have to be exciting.
Now, I think of it more like a scale, balancing stability and excitement.
There are ups-and-downs in every career path. There are boring, difficult parts to every job. What changes is the balance that is right at the time.
Everyone Has a Scale
The people that I chatted with have gone on to find new spouses, take on more responsibility, and find their own balance of stability and excitement.
And I continue to tip the scales back-and-forth, finding the balancing rhythm that’s right for me.
Thank you for reading! Share this with a friend who is looking for balance in their own life!