Career Series: Are you putting yourself first?
There seems to be a pattern when it comes to careers. We leave University with big dreams and wild imaginations only to end up stuck doing something that has lost its sparkle.
I, personally, came out of University with absolute certainty of the career I wanted. For me, having done a degree in Film and Television Production I knew I had to make it in the film industry.
At that point I dared to dream big and do whatever it took to achieve it. I was young, carefree and without responsibility… but as the years went by, I started to become less young, less carefree and fast gaining responsibility (in the form of a mortgage on my first flat). I had realised that the glamorous showbiz world I had dreamed of was, in fact, not so glamorous and the stress, abuse and sleepless nights were perhaps not as worth it as they once seemed.
The trouble was at this point, I felt rather stuck. My job was all I knew, I had become too senior with too many bills to pay to start all over again at the bottom, but I worried my skillset was nontransferable outside of the film industry. So I carried on, day in, day out. Making myself ill with stress, deeply unhappy, losing the bubbly persona I once had and becoming more and more of a moany, old grump.
Then something happened to me, someone told me that I was the master of my own destiny. I had been living my life waiting for something to change, waiting for someone to tell me what to do, waiting for whoever I was working with to turn things around for me. I had never once thought that working on myself and my life was the key to discovering my calling. I was in charge of my happiness.
So I sat down and asked myself the question: what do I want? I’d been drifting along thinking I was doing what I wanted, not realising I was actually living 18 year old Lili’s dream. I had changed, my values had changed, my dreams had changed. I just hadn’t slowed down enough to pay attention and take note.
For nearly a decade I had forgotten to put myself first. I let life live me, instead of living my life. I was so stressed… so exhausted… that I had completely lost my direction.
The great news is, if this sounds like you… if this is resonating, you can follow the steps I did and get yourself back on track to ultimate career happiness. Remember that dreams change, you are not failing by changing direction. Change is healthy.
In the words of Aubrey Drake Graham, ‘you only live once’. Don’t sleepwalk through it, make it the best it can be.