Towards the entrance of my school’s student center, we have this countdown clock to graduation… and the last three times I’ve gone to see it, it hasn’t been working. Usually, I’d be frustrated at this kind of thing and yell at the invisible person in my mind responsible for this repeated problem. But now I’d like to think that someone out there is looking out for me and turning it off right before I have the chance to see the numbers dwindling down. Because while I’m excited about graduating, those declining digits eventually usher you into the real world.
My Type-A personality dictates that I should have this so-called “grown up life” all under control, with pro-con lists and plans already in place to meet any possible difficulty. Instead, my next big life step leaves me feeling helpless and fearful at times. However, after hitting my breaking point a few weeks ago, I’ve realized some important things about my future and, in particular, my career plans.
1)Despite what I might think, I can’t actually control everything. In fact, I’ve made a pro-con list to prove it. In the pro category is everything I can control; i.e. submitting resumes, maintaining contacts, and keeping my stress at a manageable level. Things I can’t control = actually having a job right this very minute.
2)Finding a job is a process! If I get overwhelmed, it’s probably because I put too much on my plate. As someone wisely told me, “just focus on the next step, and the rest will follow.” That means instead of focusing on my BIG end goal, I can just focus on applying for jobs right now.
3) I am good enough to get a job. Stop doubting my own skills.
Thus, I believe that the broken clock is just another sign helping me to slow down and appreciate the process. What I need isn’t to be stressed about the future, but focused on the present and appreciating today. As Eckhart Tolle puts it, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
LeadHer™ Intern, Campus Calm™
Learn more about Julie here.