For the past few days, I've been reading Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please. It's lovely and fun and thoughtful and a great companion to Tina Fey's Bossypants. Now all I need is a Maya Rudolph memoir and my life will be complete.
I read a chapter yesterday that was called "Treat your career like a bad boyfriend." Basically, if you worry too much about your career and where it's going and what it's doing, it will dick you over. The idea was very, "Let your career come over and diddle you once in a while, but know that it's not always going to be there for you. It's not going to be kind. Success is not going to happen on your terms. Learn to be okay with that."
At first I was all, "No. If I don't worry about my career, who will?"
Actually, I was like, nice for her. Sure she can go teach improv or whatever if her acting career crashes and burns, but what do I have to fall back on? Teaching? I decided the first time around that wasn't for me.
But then it hit me. She's right, and I was thinking about this the wrong way. I can't control the "career" part of my career. It's not up to me whether an editor wants to hire me to freelance or buy my book. You over there in the office, you can't control who gets the promotion and who gets pink slipped.
The only thing we can control is our own output. So what if this book crashes and burns. I'll write another one. So what if an editor rejects my pitches. I'll send more. I'll keep writing here and over there and keep trying until either something sticks or it doesn't, because at least I'm doing something I can be proud of.
I thought initially that this really only applies to creative-types, but no. It works for everyone. You in the office, find your niche, do your work, make yourself invaluable the company in ways no one else can, not even Teri in accounting, who is totally sleeping with the regional manager. Don't do it because you want a promotion or more money. Do it because you take pride in what you do. Do it because it brings you meaning and joy. No regrets.
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