Chasing my dream job
Photo by Vruyr Martirosyan on Unsplash
Introspections are one of the ideas and practices that emerged with age and helped me better understand that the dreams I was chasing were not actually mine.
A bit cliché, but we only live once. For years I have pursued what I was convinced was my dream job, and I ended up realizing that I was following other people’s dreams.
I can’t blame anyone but myself. The social pressure and the fact that I needed to prove that I was capable of achieving something on my own, are some of the conclusions I usually get when reflecting on this.
As I have already shared in other posts, every time I am asked for advice by junior developers or anyone starting a career in IT, it is to live your life and not someone else's.
Nowadays with the overload of information and uncontrolled toxicity in social media, it’s quite easy to get confused. It personally took me years to realize that I was fighting to get something I never wanted.
Having a freeze or controlled use of social media, and avoiding putting other people's opinions on top of mine (just because they have thousands of followers) were important remarks to keep my mind under control. Living on my own without a script of life designed by someone else.
Finding people to refer to or to get inspiration is a useful resource, but we most probably have no idea about their inner fights or goals. From a different perspective having references to fight social conventions would help to promote diversity and inclusion.
Looking back to when I started my career, I just wanted to be recognized for my work but it was just a reflection of my childhood, full of insecurities, which my defense mechanism turn into proving that I was capable of reaching “success” on my own.
Comparison is a double-edged sword
It’s proven that comparison can be our driver and makes us envy what others are living.
The book Big feelings (probably the best book I read in 2022) introduced me to this concept and taught me about the two sides of comparisons.
These are a few takeaways and my favorite parts:
- We always compare our inner self with the exterior of others.
- Comparisons can teach us what matters to us, and what are our core values.
- Envy for the success of others can inspire us or reveal which are our real interests, so envy is not always necessarily bad.
- Self-comparison with an old you can highlight your progress and evolution.
- When trying to change or learn anything from scratch, avoid comparing it with the best or top talent in that area.
- From the outside only the success is visible but how we get there is invisible and ignored.
Too much ambition
Being ambitious is good as we always need the motivation to turn an idea into something real, but it can also lead us to burnout and lose the focus of our core values and objectives in life.
As someone who was instructed to build performant and robust software, and to think about every detail of a solution, I struggle to limit that to work and not to extrapolate it to my daily life.
Putting my ego aside and not trying to convert myself into my own piece of software is just hard.
With time to process information, reading books and blogs, taking courses, and experiences in general, I learned to have a quiet life, and enjoy other things outside work.
My stress levels are slowly going down, I have now a feeling of self-control, plus I mastered celebrating the success of others, and how much it motivates me. Funny enough, my productivity gets better as I get more energy when getting back to working hours.
Basically not wait until I get retired to start enjoying.
Although frustration and getting into that was part of what I consider my learnings, some of those stressful situations could have been avoided. Which I expect to be the most important takeaway to whoever reads this post.
The thing is, that feeling of chasing something in particular never ends, kind of a hamster in a wheel. So we have to learn to deal with that feeling all the time.
Work on your network
Challenging my network among other things like introducing habits such as reading and writing, and limiting others like social media, were what produced this change in me.
I have no idea when I started to “work” on this but I believe it was something that came up as a side effect of the pandemic, where, like most people, I faced something unexpected and unprecedented.
Things like filtering my Twitter feed by muting words and blocking particular accounts, reducing the amount of exposure on social media, or even stopping entering into endless discussions on Reddit, were activities that enhanced my wellness, making me more relaxed and avoiding falling into meeting standards that I don’t even believe in.
So I went through that introspection about belonging which has helped me to focus on people that I actually care about, and make me feel like they care about me too.
Months after going through this process, I was told that I was lucky with the friends I have and the network I have. And as with many things in life, this ain’t luck! I worked hard on this to make me feel peaceful.