As I watched the waves hit the shoreline of the beach go back into the ocean, I let my mind flow freely. Thoughts of “should I take this risk?” and “Am I crazy for wanting more?” and “If I don’t do it, what will my day to day be like if I decline?”
Anxiety, fear, happiness, and joy are just a few of the feelings I experience daily. One moment I’m in pure bliss – then BOOM! – an unexpected or difficult situation occurs and a cloud of anxiety starts to creep in.
One feeling I don’t believe in is regret. I know it’s cliche to say “Yeah, I have no regrets” and it is so overused, especially for millennials. But in my life, not taking an opportunity would equal a regret. And I don’t want to live my life looking back and thinking “well what if I did XYZ”?
Aside from my career, I’ve taken a risk by doing many things I was honestly terrified to do. But I felt that in my heart it was what I was supposed to do. Some examples include auditioning for The Voice, joining a women’s group where I knew no one, leaving a relationship, auditioning for a local band, learning how to practice yoga, etc…
You see, all of the things listed above are things I used to be afraid of. Now that I took a risk by trying new or scary things regularly, I have more confidence each time I push my own limits.
Networking groups? A piece of cake. Singing on stage? It’s my passion, of course I can. Trying a new workout? I can do anything I set my mind to. Knowing what I’m worth? Yes, I do.
My point is – you HAVE to push yourself in your twenties if you want to grow. No one else is going to care as much as you do about your own future. This stage of life is ALL about learning, growing and becoming a well-rounded human. And it all starts with getting out of your comfort zone.
The reason I’m going on and on about all of this is because I believe in job hopping.
Now, there are SO many people in the professional world who severely recommend against this. In fact, several professionals older than me strongly encouraged me not to do this.
But – in my opinion, to be truly successful and to be willing to put 150% of your heart and soul into something that brings you income, you have to love what you are doing.
Anyone who is not a millennial might think it’s naive to think that you’ll find a job that you “love”. Many people believe that a job is a job and it’s main purpose is to put food on your table, not to fulfill your inner wishes, dreams and desires.
I’m here to say I don’t buy a second of that nonsense.
3rd Millenium Advantage
Step 1: Think about how many opportunities we have just by being alive right now
Life is cushier than it’s ever been in the history of humanity. We are beyond lucky to be born during a century where SO many revelations have taken place right before our eyes. Women have more rights than ever. Technology continues to evolve. The job market is flourishing.
Within seconds we can communicate with people face to face on the other side of the planet. (Thanks Facetime!) Within hours, we can fly thousands of miles away to another country. We have talking robots that can tell us jokes or turn our lights off. It’s pretty freaking cool!
With so many tools at our fingertips, it’d be a non-justice to not take advantage of this time frame we’re blessed to be born in. When we’re 80, we’ll feel like we blinked and turned 80.
LinkedIn has been and continues to be my best friend. If you want to grow your network and find opportunities, you should take advantage of this free tool that people 10 years ago didn’t have access to.
Connect with friends, coworkers, and family. Fill out your profile entirely. Get a professional headshot or ask a friend to take one of you against a white wall outside somewhere. It’s so simple.
Life is Only as Good as Your Mindset
Step 2: Get your mind right
Growing up, our parents, teachers, friends parents, and grandparents told us we can do whatever we set our sweet little minds to. They instilled a confidence and drive in us that, perhaps, no one did for them.
Millennials get a lot of flack for having this sort of confident, wide-eyed approach to life. But I don’t really care because I believe that we need more people in this world who have confidence in themselves and in how they can make a difference.
That being said, once you have your mind made up and you are willing to do whatever it takes to find the thing that makes you happy, there’s nothing wrong with working hard to find what that one thing is.
You Only Get Out What You Put In
Step 3: Put in work
This should probably be step one. Just know that finding what you want is going to be hard at times. You can’t expect to set your mind to something and get that something instantly without putting some good old hard work into it. You won’t wake up overnight and say “ahhh, I did it” after literally doing nothing.
People are going to doubt you, you will take jobs that you don’t love, you will have to work with people who you don’t like, you will have to deal with crazy people BUT you will learn during this process.
You will grow and become stronger.
Some examples of how you can grow: seek a mentor, seek different job positions, switch companies, meet new people, join new networking groups, update your LinkedIn and do as much as you can by living in the “now”.
Anyone who sits around waiting for something is never going to be fully satisfied. Waiting on luck will age you. Seeking your destiny will bring out your inner youth.
Find Your Motivation
Step 4: Learn from your experiences and reflect on what motivates you at work
Get your feet wet by trying a few different jobs and think about what motivates you. Is it money? Culture? Encouragement? Freedom? Structure? Helping others? Or something else?
Whatever it is, look at the patterns. Explore which jobs made you happiest and pinpoint what exactly it was about that job that made you happy.
I quickly learned I am motivated by money, challenges, and freedom. Each time I’ve accepted a new job, I made more money, took on challenges I’ve never faced and got more freedom. Therefore, I worked harder and harder as I climbed up the ladder while accepting larger positions.
Some people could care less about money. If you find that you are passionate about design and photography but are working a senior role making $80,000 a year – you might experience a decrease in income by switching. But likely you won’t care because you’ll be doing something you enjoy.
Before making the decision to take on a new job, think long and hard about what you believe motivates you and whether this new company will ignite that flame to do your best work.
Do Not Burn Bridges & Be Grateful To Employers
Step 5: Exit professionally and maintain positive relationships with former employers
Once you try your first job and realize you aren’t crazy about it because either a) you don’t have enough responsibilities, b) you don’t enjoy the actual work you are doing, c) you don’t make enough money or d) you hit the glass ceiling, tread lightly.
I mean this. Managers, bosses and owners HATE complaining and ungrateful employees. More than anything. One thing that I used to struggle with is how to address an issue without sounding like a whiny employee.
Often times, I opted to remain silent in fear of sounding like a complainer. In all reality, silence isn’t the best for you or your company. Just like a marriage, there should be open communication.
The best managers out there help you improve by listening to your problems, finding truths in your complaints, pointing out any non-truths, and suggesting actionable solutions.
But even if your boss isn’t interested in helping you resolve issues, try not to focus on that. It will drain you PLUS everyone around you. Focus on yourself, how you can do your best, how you can contribute to the whole and how you can exit peacefully.
One thing I always remember is that despite the troubles I faced during a job, I am beyond blessed to have been given the opportunity to be there in the first place. Every company I’ve worked for has given me the opportunity to succeed.
Wherever you are going, you probably couldn’t have gone there without your current experience. Don’t ever forget that.
Jobs are like free education you get paid for. You learn and grow at each one.
So you can’t forget to be thankful and remain positive when your time has ended at a company.
Job hopping got me where I’m going way faster than if I remained unhappy somewhere else. My ultimate goal is to get as much experience as I can at an early age so that one day I can truly be free and happy.
UPDATE: I believe I have [finally] found the place where I will stay and thrive, but more on that at a later date. 🙂
If you have any questions about job hopping or how to grow your career, please feel free to leave comments below or connect via social media. I love discussing this topic with others and am passionate about helping others find their true happiness. <3