When it comes to our careers, who really knows if we’re doing it right?
We ask ourselves questions like: Should I have a certain title by now? How much money should someone my age be making? Am I falling behind?
Or the ever popular question: How does everyone else afford that?
If you’re like me, when you were growing up, you probably had a basic idea of how you thought the rest of your life would play out.
There was an age in your mind that was the ‘official adult age’, and by that time you were sure that you’d have it all figured out.
Fast forward to present day, and you’re currently that ‘official adult age’ (yikes). But you’re looking around and wondering what the hell is going on?!?
This isn’t where you thought you’d be by now!
But the truth is, there is no magical age.
But we unintentionally gave ourselves some pretty big shoes to fill by thinking there was.
So let’s just be real for a minute. Let’s let our guards down and realize that odds are, everyone else is probably going through the same struggle in one way or another!
Let’s address the common misconceptions about age and success that, so far, haven’t quite matched up with our reality.
‘I THOUGHT I’D BE FARTHER ALONG IN MY CAREER BY NOW’
For me, I changed careers a couple of years ago and started back at the bottom of the totem pole again. Changing careers was necessary, but it can kind of crush your ego to start all over again.
I’d look at some of my other friends who were much farther along in their careers and feel less accomplished than them.
Almost ashamed of some of the mundane tasks I’d have to perform throughout the day. Didn’t I go to college for more than this?
This can be especially frustrating if, on top of it all, we don’t even like the boss we’re working for! God that makes work so miserable.
Not only are you not the boss, but your boss is actually a total nightmare.
Reality is, you might not be as high up or “accomplished” in your career as you’d hoped. Because the real world got in the way. Maybe you needed to go back to school, maybe you changed careers like me, or maybe you just realized you needed to pay your dues longer than you thought.
Truth is, this isn’t a race. There isn’t one correct path to success. And don’t let the idea of going down a new path scare you even if it does require taking a couple steps back. Because, life’s too short not to have balls.
Titles are not everything. They do not define you.
‘SHOULDN’T I BE MAKING MORE MONEY BY NOW?’
The problem is, everyone on social media wants you to think they have it, and a lot of it.
And the rest of us feel left in the dust. Like everyone’s got some magical way of printing their own dollar bills or something.
And there will always be that one friend that actually is making a lot of money for their age, and good for them! (I say gritting through my teeth)
‘But HOW does so-and-so go on vacation all the time?’
I’ve found myself asking this question to myself more than once….
I feel like I’ve been counting pennies for years. I honestly can’t remember the last time I didn’t think about every dollar I spent.
Listen, living paycheck to paycheck is not fun. There is nothing glamorous about it.
So I’m sorry world that I am not a CEO by the age of 30, but I’m doing my best here!
Reality is, average salaries are not able to keep up with skyrocketing rent prices and cost of living.
Truth is, I’m sick of seeing Instagram models and high school acquaintances living the high life on social media too. But we have to keep in mind that we know nothing about their story. They could be putting themselves into earth-shattering debt. Or maybe momma and da-da still fund their lifestyle (lame). I wouldn’t want to be doing either of those things.
I use this as fuel to push harder. To find more ways I can earn some income, and also just be appreciative of what I CAN afford.
You will never be happy with how much money you make later if you can’t be appreciative of what you have now.
So smile every time you get to go to the movies, see a concert, go out to a meal with an old friend. These are special things that not everyone can afford.
‘I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO AFFORD A HOME’
Is it possible that we are all speaking in hyperbole a little bit? Maybe what we really mean is “I thought I’d be a homeowner by (insert perfect age here), but in reality it’s going to take longer.”
But hey, I totally feel your pain here. Owning a home is also an important goal of mine, and every time I look up, that goal is sailing out farther and farther away.
I’m not a real-estate genius, and I don’t have the solution to the ‘housing crisis’ as it’s so commonly referred to. I’m in the same boat as everyone else.
But here’s what I do know. Just like the other expectations listed above- I can’t beat myself up over it!
The way I see it, we have two choices to make:
We can feel really sorry for ourselves that we can’t buy a home at the same age as our parents, or generations before us.
We can just keep trucking, and try to not let the negative stop us in our tracks! Buying a home at 40, or 50, or whenever it happens is still a BIG deal!
Maybe it’s not our ideal situation, but all I’m saying is never say never when it comes to owning a home.
But can’t we all agree that we are on this earth for more than just paying our bills and making ends meet?
You are an individual. A human being with a soul and a heart.
I am not defined by my job choice and I hope you’re not either.
We work to pay the bills, we hope we can find something that inspires us, but no job is perfect.
When people describe what they like about you….do they use your job title? Probably not. So let the world see you for who you are, not what you do for a living!
With love always, xoxo C