What is success? Most people would equate someone successful with someone who has a lot of money, fame or a job that people deem high-powered. As a young adult, graduating from college a few years ago, I often feel the pressure to “be successful“. I have had many people try to get my jobs in my graduating field of journalism, tell me what kind of job I should have, or give me advice on how I should have more success. While I am very grateful I have so many people looking out for me who go out of their way to help me or think of me, at times it is frustrating.
Should I have a 9-5 newspaper job in order to be deemed “successful” or “worthy”? Am I not allowed to be happy with what I’m currently doing? Currently, I work about part-time (hours vary) as a freelancer or independent contractor with several companies ranging from a non-profit business organization to writing here on ASK and other websites. I also work part-time at a chiropractor’s office helping patients and occasionally working the front desk. I may not be making big bucks, but right now I just have myself to support.
At times I feel like I should be searching for a “dream job”, one worthy of my degree or trying to write a book that will become wildly successful. I feel like being content with where I am is essentially lazy. I feel as if I am letting everyone down by not having that high-powered job or constantly working for something better.
But yet, why do we need to be that way? I may not have these current jobs forever. I may head more into the field of journalism, I may not. I realize I don’t need to know today. I don’t need to feel bad when everyone asks me what I want to do and I say I am still not sure, but I am content with where I am at. If people judge me for it, they can. I know myself and I know that I nurture my health, my relationships, my happiness and free time more than I do being wildly successful. Some people may put more pressure on having a high-powered career, but I would rather say I had a good life with the people I love than spending all my time working.
For now I just have to accept that people who care about my future may always put some pressure on me to find a different “better” career. I have to just be grateful and accepting and do what I feel is best for me.
Whether you’re a young adult or not, do you ever feel judged for a perceived “lack of success”? How do you deal with it?