The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Monday, July 14, 2014

New Career, New Challenges: Emotional Baggage

Here I am, in the new career I've trained long and hard for, worked through a Master's degree program and much testing to obtain, and ... I found myself seriously worried. I was all wound up that I was not doing everything exactly right and not accomplishing nearly as much as I had hoped. That was five months into the job. I was told by those in the know on the job that I needed to stop being so hard on myself. They were wondering why this was the case ... and basically I thought it through and explained it to them on the spot. It was an epiphany for me and I'll pass it along to you in case you are suffering from the same.

I was bringing a lot of emotional baggage from my previous two careers. In both careers, mistakes could have some really disastrous impacts on those who made them and the firm's future efforts. In the first career, future contracts with other clients could be damaged if the failure was large enough. Your standing in the community could take a hit as well, along with your potential career path.

In the second career, mistakes that were serious enough could lead to legal action. There was a lot of pressure on you to make sure what you did was right, and that what the people you worked with and shepherded through a complex process was correct. It fell on you to be very concerned about the outcome, whether the person you were working with appreciated the magnitude of the potential issue or not.

Needless to say, this led to some very stressful moments in two careers. I realized I was carrying those expectations and all the emotional baggage I had developed related to those expectations along into this new career, where expectations were different ... quite different.

I am working hard right now to drop that baggage. I want to uncurl my clenched hands and drop the handles, leaving all that debris where it lies. I imagine there will be a lot of freedom to that and, with that baggage dropped, an ability to move forward more creatively. It will be easier to commit to new projects, new pathways, new expectations, when not in a defensive crouch wary of pitfalls that no longer apply. 

It was quite an epiphany, a great moment, and I thank those I work with for making it possible. 

Wishing you such moments of enlightenment as you move forward in your career. Let the baggage fall and move forward with a new spring in your step.

For more posts on the new career, see:, and

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