I am a new professional and this week marks my first year of my first full-time job after grad school. Aside from getting used to the agonizing notion that I will never have summer break ever again (and this transition is *not literally* rough on my body), I find that my days are filled with trying to perform this balancing act of pretending like I know what I’m doing and getting older people to take me seriously.
And while I do have ideas and the knowledge base of what I do, I feel like I don’t think actually know how to be a competent employee. Because when I was a student, I could say pretty much whatever I wanted. Turns out, if you do that at work, you could get fired?
This was a big reason why I wanted to start this blog. My life had been reduced to going to work and then going home, fighting the urge to pass out at 7:30. I needed something to fulfill me outside of work.
So, I thought books on how people are successful would help me, both at work and with my creative endeavors outside of work. I’ve read two books (well, reread one) lately on success: Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and Morten T. Hansen’s Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More.
Outliers taught me to really be good at something I basically always have to be in the right place at the right time (including my freaking BIRTH) and put in a bazillion hours. No pressure.
Also, real quick, can we talk about how all his examples are white men? Malcolm, you couldn’t find ONE example of a success story of someone who is not a white (or Jewish) man? Oh yeah, those are only exceptions to the rules.
Hansen taught me skills for regular people like obsessing, fighting, and changing who I am. I mean, not exactly in those words, but that’s kinda what he meant. Why do men have to make everything seem like a sport?
Either way, a common message was to like what you do, and you will be successful and feel fulfilled. I do feel fortunate enough to have a job in which aligns with my passion. I still feel creatively stifled by the environment.
Just let me do what I want, how I want to! *whines*
I want to be a rebel! But one that’s lowkey and BAM! You never see her coming!
As far as these books helping me in my creative outlets (i.e. this blog), Gladwell did teach me that people aren’t born with talent (although, when you’re born seems to help, like, a lot). I guess all I got going for me is a bazillion hours (man, that’s time taken away from scrolling aimlessly on Instagram looking at memes and falling asleep at 9 pm).
I’ve been hearing these messages and reading “success” books for a while now, but this time, things really started to click. I feel like I’ve been receiving messages the exact right time in my life. Or maybe I’m more receptive them to them now and can actually hear them…
Career Day! Share with me if you do what you love, whether that’s for money or nah (even if that means sex work. No SWERFs here!).