Support is never a bad thing
On Saturday I had the pleasure of interviewing a young professional in the Water Waste Industry (I know; very specific and unique.) Although I've always been a little bit obsessed with what makes young people feel successful, I started Mento Mindset six months ago and have been interviewing different young professionals to learn about what makes them happy and unhappy at work.
We talked a lot about the trajectory of his career and the two themes that always comes up when a young professional feels they are successful or on track to success are:
1. I have purpose everyday that I go in and do my best work
2. I had a mentor(s) to steer my in the right direction and show me the way
A career path is confusing these days. When we're 18, we are forced to decide what we want to be when we grow up - there are 10 times more industries to choose from than when our parents were going through it - some of the industries we have never even heard - new roles and titles are being created every single day - once we choose, then we spend an obscene amount of money to learn how to get a job - we get a job - and we're lost.
Not only was I able to talk to my interviewee about the reasons that he enjoys his career and believes it is the right career for him, but also that there was a point in his early career when he was really frustrated and didn’t feel like he was in the right place or doing the right work. Let's back up a couple steps...
- In high school he took an environmental science class and thought it was really interesting
- He kind of chose his college major based on that one interest
- When he graduated, his Dad had worked in the Water Waste which opened that door to his first job.
A couple years into work, he started to feel pretty purposeless and didn't say anything until he was extremely unhappy. Most of his co-workers had been working in his business for 15+ years and understand the ins and outs of their industry. Eventually, he met with his manager and said "i’m halfway out the door and I really don’t wanna leave."
He said he wished he voiced his concerns sooner because that conversation with his manager led to so much clarity. Talking with his manager allowed them to work together so he could deal with the chaotic days, gain confidence to realize what makes him happy, and the guidance and support of someone rooting for him.
Looking back, there are so many steps a young professional can take before calling it quits, you never know what you're walking away from until you voice your concerns. Not everyday is going to be perfect, but if you don't ask for help, how can you expect to reach your successful moments?