When I think back about the past year and what I've learned, one major thing comes to mind. I didn't talk too much about it on here, but I ended up quitting my first "real" job out of college in March of 2016. I was so nervous and anxious about it, but looking back it was the best decision I could have made.
My biggest lesson of 2016 was it's okay if you are not happy, but if there is something you can do about it, do it.
I was extremely unhappy for about a year leading up to me quitting. I felt very overworked and under appreciated and for a while, I would say "it just comes with the territory as an entry-level worker." While partially true, it just got to a point where I was doing things I was very unqualified for and was not learning anything or growing at all despite doing tasks that manager and director level employees should have been handling. It was very "throw it against the wall and hope it sticks" for a year, which is fine for some time, but I got to a point where I did not care at all about my work any more and I didn't learn anything from a mentor for almost a year.
One of my favorite quotes is "If you don't like where you are, move. You are not a tree." This quote could not be any more true. I've chosen to live by this quote this past year to help me become the best me I can.
As mentioned above, I was very unhappy for quite some time at my job. Looking back, I should have tried to leave way before I did, but everything happens for a reason I suppose. I now work for an amazing company that is consistently ranked in numerous "Best Places to Work" lists and truly appreciates their employees. I let myself be miserable staying at a job that was changing me as a person and that is something I will never do again.
With that said, my second most prominent learning this year is it's okay if something that used to make you happy doesn't anymore. We are constantly growing as humans and our priorities and attitudes change. I LOVED my first job so much for the first 1.5 years--literally loved it. It was so much fun and everyone was friends and the culture was amazing. But that changed. The company took a turn for the worst and we lost a lot of business and had to lay off great, great people (more than once, horrible times.) I felt so guilty saying I hated it after this because I used to love it so much. I used to say to myself, "How could I change how I feel?" I didn't want to sound like a "hypocrite."
Along the same lines, I got a beach house with a bunch of my friends this summer (3rd in a row) and toward to end, I just wanted it to be over. I wasn't having as much fun as I used to and I felt so guilty about it. I would beat myself up about it because I didn't want my friends to think I wasn't enjoying it anymore. But I just grew up! The shore is so much fun but I've gotten to an age where I work full-time in NYC, live on my own in Hoboken and have all of the responsibilities and bills as an adult. Looking back on how guilty I felt makes me angry, to be honest lol, but it definitely helped me realize that it's okay to change your mind and grow up.
I feel like these two lessons will carry along with my in 2017. Growing up is hard, but things and feelings and situations can (and will change) and I need to be better at going with the flow ;)
What are you biggest lessons learned in 2016? I would love to know in the comments!
Thank you so much for reading & happy, happy new year! <3