Adulting (the act of becoming an adult) is hard. There’s lots of advice out there from friends, family members, the Internet, even perfect strangers, on what responsible adults do. Responsible adults should floss every day. Responsible adults should eat their vegetables. Responsible adults should find a stable job with decent pay, benefits, and a retirement plan. Responsible adults don’t get to have fun because they’re too busy being responsible. 

In the words of punk rock poet, Frank Turner:  

“Oh maturity’s a wrapped up package deal so it seems / And ditching teenage fantasy means ditching all your dreams / All your friends and peers and family solemnly tell you you will / Have to grow up be an adult yeah be bored and unfulfilled / Oh when no ones yet explained to me exactly what’s so great / About slaving 50 years away on something that you hate…”

Bored and unfulfilled definitely describes the majority of American workers, but it doesn’t have to define you. The first thing you need to do is recognize that this is how you’ve been feeling. Note – if you’re reading this blog, you may have had the realization already! Check one off the list!

The second thing you have to acknowledge is that just because a job sounds good doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good match for your talents, skills, interests, beliefs, and values. Trust me, I’ve been there. I once spent more than a year trying to convince myself to stay in a job, because on paper, it checked all the metaphorical boxes. Great pay. Decent benefits. Reasonable hours. Retirement plan. Matched my skill set. 

It should have been awesome… but I was miserable and to top it off, I felt guilty for feeling that way. Lots of other people wanted that job and would have enjoyed doing it. But I didn’t. And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. I would love to go back in time to encourage my past self to leave that job sooner. My misery was making everyone around me miserable too and that’s no way to live. The rear view mirror eventually allowed me to reflect and see what was happening in that scenario. Spoiler alert: it was the fact that I wasn’t working authentically and it’s helped me make better career choices moving forward. 

The final piece you should remember as you are on your career journey is that everyone makes mistakes (chooses the wrong role, stays too long, etc.). Don’t beat yourself up over it – you’re already feeling bad enough if you’re in that position right now! Instead, make up your mind to get clarity on what exactly you like and don’t like about your job so you can make an informed decision moving forward. I am always here to help you on your unique career journey.

Hi! I’m Allyson. Most of my friends call me Ally. Welcome to the Authentic Ally (see what I did there?) blog where I share my thoughts on careers and life, partly because I’m interested in those topics and partly because we spend so much of our time physically at our careers (as well as worrying about them when we’re not there!) that it’s hard to separate them from our lives.

One of my favorite quotes on work comes from the comedian Drew Carey:

 “Oh you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.”

It’s intended to be funny, but there’s a large kernel of truth in it. More than 70% of American workers range from unhappy to downright miserable in their jobs. There are a lot of reasons for the disengaged feelings so many people experience and we’ll explore a lot of those reasons here on this blog, but first let’s all agree that the embarrassingly high number of unhappy workers is not ok. It’s bad for people and it’s bad for companies. 

So I’m here to change that. I want to increase the number of happy workers because happier people are healthier people. They’re better partners, parents, co-workers, friends, leaders, and volunteers. And just imagine how our world changes when the majority of people are doing work that they love, that excites them, and that brings about high levels of creativity!  

Who’s with me? *Collective cheer rises up… or at least a nodding of heads in agreement* Great! Let’s get started.