Obsessed… with professional growth

career confusion

Addiction has many faces.

Are you a “professional” addict?  Are you obsessed with LinkedIn influencer articles about career growth?

Sometimes career growth advice is too simple.

Every day there is something to feed your obsession. “The 5 things to do at an interview.”  “The 5 things never to say to your boss.”  “The 10 things you can learn from your cat…”

Yet, it is addictive.

We are all a bit addicted to simple advice. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be there, reading, commenting, re-posting. I am finding LinkedIn influencer articles the “career growth” version of “dieting”. There are so many options to grow and prosper (just as there are options to shrink and slim down) – which to follow? Which ones are “true” and who knows?

Well, these successful types do – so we read their advice! And while some of that advice sounds like just the right amount of wisdom for a Monday morning pick-me-up, a lot of it does not always resonate well.

At times, it doesn’t match our capabilities.  

Not all of us do creative work which we can visibly display to wow our potential employer, like web site design or 3D video production.

Yet, maybe such advice can inspire us to do something new and creative – like write our deep thoughts down… in blog form.

Sometimes, it doesn’t sound realistic.

Not all of us can afford to quit our jobs because “we don’t feel appreciated” or “we are not growing anymore”, and then start the search for something better, if that means we have to live off our savings for an indefinite period of time.

Yet for others, that kind of move is just the formula to get out of a rut and take stock of who we are and where we want to go next.

In an interview with Matthew McConaughey about his recent Indie movie, “Mud”, he indicated that he made a decision to say no to “fluff” films and that’s when the interesting acting opportunities came rolling in. By saying “no” to what he no longer wanted, he opened up new opportunities for something bigger and more meaningful.

Is it bad advice?

I don’t think so. There is something valuable here, even though a lot of it contradicts and trips over itself. For what it’s worth, I believe this is the voice of our professional generation: the search for our better selves, our “optimal” place and occupation, and possibly – our life’s work. And it’s beautiful to see it displayed so openly and accessibly.

So what do we make of this?

How we follow through on this advice is entirely up to us, but it must fit our life situation, our capabilities, our budget, and our schedule. One thing is for sure, wherever we end up next, we want to be valued and we want to do good, useful work.

So the important thing is to keep reading, exploring, and trying things on for size. You’ll get there, wherever you are trying to go, with style. So long as it’s yours.


Postscript: Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar in 2014 for best actor. Am I a soothsayer or what?


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