The headline might seem paradoxical. Don’t most people aspire to be noticed? To be celebrated? During my career in customer service, freelance journalism and public relations, I’ve had many supervisors. I’ve always have met my goals, won sales contests, recognized employee of the month, and won a PRSA Totem of Excellence award for marketing communications. I always research where my field is heading and push the company or organization I work for in that direction. I work hard and strive to always improve but my goal is not to be recognized by my industry’s leaders, recruiters of top companies or even my boss. I do it so I can sleep peacefully at night. I do it so that I myself feel accomplished about the work I’m doing and the job I’ve done. And honestly, I do not like being recognized for the work I’ve done. I’ve been hired to do a job and I do it. Simple. So yes, I aspire to be that uncelebrated shining star. I want to do an awesome job but I don’t want the recognition for it.
I’ve had rough times in my career where I’m frustrating and nothing seems to be going right. I don’t see myself as that shining star. I get disappointed in myself. Anxiety sets in. Thoughts of failure start infiltrating my mind. I’m in one of these unstable and rough periods in my career right now. Things just aren’t clicking, no matter how hard I try. There’s nitpicking and chatter along with my own disappointment that is making me feel that I’m slowly leaking helium and the weight of gravity is tugging at my outer core.
This isn’t the first time I’ve gone through this. The last time it happened I was fired from my position but it turned out it was the best thing that could’ve happened, but only after the initial disappointment and shock wore off. I landed my dream job, I had work/life balance and I stayed in that position for 16 years!
The situation is different now, but I will still ask those same questions I asked myself so many years ago to assess my current situation.
1. How can I improve on or do differently to turn things around so that I’m once again that uncelebrated shining star? (So I can sleep again!)
2. Am I in the right position, heading in the direction I want to go?
3. What direction do I want to go? What are my current career goals? Are they the right ones?
Once I’ve assessed the situation, I make a decision and break things down into chunks. Once the clouds disappear, I hope to shine (and sleep) once again.