“Kathy just got this prestigious scholarship!”
“Lena moved to a new company and is now making five times your current salary!”
Everyone’s life has turned out perfectly. Well, everyone except you.
You feel that you have stayed too long in an underpaid position. If you could turn back the hands of time, you would have taken that internship.You keep thinking that things would have turned out differently if you had pursued other career options. Your days are filled with concern. My dear friend, you are dealing with career FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) It is the fear that you are missing out on great career opportunities.
Career FOMO materializes when we feel that our careers are not good enough because of the decisions we have made. Here are some of the ways you can deal with career FOMO that do not involve job hopping.
Pursue a passion project
A passion project is something you do on your own terms and for nobody else’s satisfaction but your own. It stems from your desire to create.
Most of us are in jobs where our creative juices are stifled. If you feel you could use a more creative job, why not put in some time to pursue creative efforts?
Whether you choose to paint, sculpt, or write a novel is up to you. Your passion project could be what you need to figure out what you want to do in life.
Start a side hustle
Your career FOMO could be stemming from not pursuing your entrepreneurial ambitions. Deal with this by starting a side hustle. The advantage of a side hustle is that there is little risk involved.
You don’t have to quit your job to start. Extra money anyone? Your side hustle could develop into a full time job with time.
If you have passion for giving back to the community but you are not able to do that at your day job, volunteering is a way to fill this void.
Consider participating in your employer’s programs if any. If this is not an option, look into creating your own valuable volunteering experiences.
There are lots of free courses you can take up to learn about a field you are interested in. Valuable resources include MOOCS, conferences, podcasts, and webinars.
You might find that a field you were so attracted to in the beginning does not seem appealing as you dig deeper.
Build professional relationships with people who are working in the field you are interested in. Conduct informational interviews and ask as many questions as you can.
You will find that people are willing to open up about their fields. The information gained will help you make a decision on whether to pursue your career aspirations in that field.
Create your own opportunities
The best way to deal with career FOMO is to create your own opportunities. You need to understand that if you want to achieve something in life you will have to work hard to achieve it.
Stalking more seemingly successful people on social media will not get you what you want. Regrets about career decisions made in the past will sap your energy.
Ask for that job rotation, request to be transferred to another department, volunteer for a work project you might be interested in, have a candid talk with your boss about your career development plans. Do not be passive about your career aspirations.
All careers come with their own challenges. Like they say, the grass is not always greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.
Shut the world out, choose one thing and relentlessly go after it. So long as you have set reasonable career goals for yourself and you are taking action everyday to improve your personal profile, what everyone else is doing with their lives will not matter any more.
Are you experiencing any career FOMO? How are you dealing with it?