Solving the Sunday Scaries: A Fresh Approach In The New Year

Do you ever experience the dreaded Sunday Scaries, that uneasy feeling preceding the workweek? The antidote might just lie in reimagining how you perceive and pursue your career. Let’s dive into a transformative way of thinking about your professional journey, a concept crucial to overcoming those Sunday jitters.

Traditionally, careers are often envisioned as a series of dots; a linear progression: choose a major, land a job in that field, and follow a set path. This can also be viewed as, for illustrative purposes, a tunnel, or most of us have certainly used terms like, stepping stones. But what if we viewed careers differently? Inspired by Tim Urban’s insightful perspectives on Wait But Why, instead, imagine your career as a series of interconnected dots, each representing a unique chapter of your professional story. This approach allows for a more dynamic and fulfilling career trajectory.

Reflecting on the past, it’s evident how various experiences – your education, initial job, mentors, the missions you’ve supported, promotions, switching employers, and even reading this article – form a series of significant dots. While it’s clear how these dots have connected thus far, predicting future connections in our ever-changing world is less straightforward. This uncertainty often leads to a common misstep: fixating on a distant dream job without considering the journey required to reach it. One very important key lies in finding joy in the journey itself. After all, people who enjoy their work and who they do it for not only excel, but also advance more rapidly towards their goals.

Before setting your sights on a specific role, it’s crucial to understand what you genuinely want to do. For instance, consider someone aspiring to become a Founder. While they may excel in understanding their customers needs and have a loyal following of peers who may join them, do they also have the desire and skills to handle the myriad tasks involved in growing a business? The point is, it’s not just about where you want to end up, but also about enjoying the path there.

This doesn’t mean abandoning goals but rather being intentional about them. Seek out mentors, explore various roles, and remain open to discovering that your true calling might differ from your initial vision. Perhaps what you would enjoy doing is more aligned as a co-founder, sharing in the required work you don’t find gratifying.

This bottom-up approach to career planning is my recommended strategy for combating the Sunday Scaries. By focusing on your strengths, interests, the nature of the work, and desired outcomes, you can transform dread into anticipation, making Mondays more welcome and reclaiming your precious weekends.

Consider these four guardrails in your journey:

– Your strengths
– Your interests
– The vibe of the employer and work (aka Culture)
– The outcomes you desire from your work

Embrace this mindset, and watch as the path to your dream job unfolds in a way that’s both rewarding and enjoyable.

As always, let me know how I can help you!