I am currently going through this annoying process of looking for a job. And wherever I go, I encounter awesomeness. Wherever I look, I find success. I am literally surrounded by people with prosperous careers. Everybody around is either highly qualified expert or a high level manager. Or both.
Even the simplest jobs got their tremendous terminologies. People who browse our CVs are not secretaries any more. They are Recruitment Specialists. Or even better: Talent Acquisition Experts. If that is not fancy enough, you can always add fancy words like “master” and “global”. Global Talent Acquisition Expert sounds like you have gone through half of the world to find a right person for the company. Add to it “master” and you will get Global Master Talent Acquisition Specialists. It sounds like you have recruited at least Albert Einstein to your team!
Same happens with any kind of job. Suddenly, we do not have accountants any more. We have Senior Finance Specialist. Or GL Process Coordinator. Or Reconciliation Expert. We do not have programmers. We have Senior Software Engineers. We do not have statisticians. We have Senior Data Mining Experts. We do not have translators. We have Senior Interpreter and Terminologists. We do not have secretaries. We have Executive Administration Specialists. We do not have shopkeepers. We have Sales Operations Managers. We do not have cleaning ladies. We have Facility Management Specialists.
Suddenly everybody is director or specialist. Suddenly everybody is manager or expert. Even students who barely graduated use those fancy titles. They would maybe omit the “senior” adjective, but still remain Software Engineers, Finance Specialists and Data Mining Experts. If everybody around is awesome, so they want to be.
But can everybody be an expert? Can all the people doing statistics call themselves experts in their domain? Can everybody doing accounting call themselves specialists in this field? Well, sure they can. It sounds fancy. It sounds respectful. It sounds successful. But are they really the experts?
People are different. So are their results. Be it at school, university or business world, there are some of us who perform better than others. There are some of us who perform worse. But majority of us is simply average. Engaged. Motivated. Well performing. But not outstanding.
There is nothing wrong about that. There is nothing wrong about being meticulous accountant. You do not need to be genius to do your job well. There is nothing bad about being passionate statistician. You do not need a brilliance to calculate the numbers correctly. There is nothing bad about being engaged shopkeeper. You do not need to be incredible manager to do it right. Yet, our society tends to put enormous pressure on us. Pressure on being awesome.
We do not accept being simple workers. We want to be managers, directors and specialists. If all your school friends are, why shouldn’t you be one? If everybody around is pursuing their career, why should you stay behind?
Alike, we do not accept failure. We strive for success. We are fed by inspiring quotes like that one about jumping from failure to failure with enthusiasm being the big secret to success. We are simulated by self-help books for achievers, telling us that determination eventually leads to success. We are motivated by career coaches revealing for us secrets of success psychology. It may seem that all the forces push us on the same path: path to success. We know it is steep. We know it is demanding. But we also know that we can make it.
So here we are. Chasing the next success. Pursuing the awesomeness.
The pressure we put on ourselves is tremendous. We are expected to be highly motivated and hard working. We are expected to be constantly determined and enthusiastic. We cannot simply live our lives, enjoying the day we have. We are expected to be either successful or to be steadily heading for it. But we are all humans. We cannot always be hard working. We cannot always be enthusiastic. We do have failures on our way. It does touch us. And yet, we are expected to completely ignore it and continue the pursuit of awesomeness.
But is there anything wrong with not having a vision of the next awesome project you want to realize? Is there anything bad about going to work instead of pursuing a career? Is there anything inappropriate in enjoying your daily activities instead of chasing the next success?
Yet, we all do it. We all chase the success for one simple reason. Respect. We expect that achieving ambitious goals will bring us appreciation and recognition. We hope that people will perceive us through what we have done. But we forget one simple thing. People who care about you, do not mind your successes. And people who mind your successes, do not care about you.