Home > Gen Y, job search, NYC, Personal Branding, social media > Hard Work Pays Off…Right?

Hard Work Pays Off…Right?

Have you ever felt like you are working for nothing? Not literally (ok sometimes literally…), but do you ever just feel like you are doing everything you know how to do and still can’t manage to get where you want to go?

There is a phrase I live by: Don’t complain about your situation in life if you’re not willing to work to change it. It is usually pretty easy to apply this to all aspects of my life and recently I’ve been thinking a lot about it.

Those of you who know me personally know that I have had a few complaints lately regarding my current life situation. I’m not particularly happy with where I’m at right now, so I’ve been working to change that. The biggest transition I want to make is my work situation, and I want to do this for a few reasons:

  1. While I work for an association I’m passionate about, my skill sets aren’t being utilized as much as I would like. I know I have many talents and I want to share them with the next organization I work for.
  2. I would love to move to NYC soon. I am open to staying in KC for a little while longer, but in the next few years, I see myself in NYC.
  3. I’m worth more than I make. I don’t think I’m worth $100K/yr or anything, but I know I’m at least worth a salary that allows me to move out of my parent’s house and still be able to save money every month. (That’s right folks, my options are live with the ‘rents or have no savings account. And don’t even get me started with my 401K, or lack thereof.)

So what am I doing to make this happen? Well I’m heeding my own advice and building a strong personal brand for myself (hence this fancy little blog you’re reading), I’m meeting some awesome new people both in the Midwest and on the East Coast who I think will be wonderful assets in terms of networking opportunities and friendship and I’m looking for jobs in KC and NYC and hoping to make the right connections with people who can help me get a foot in the door.

I go to work from 8-5 every day then come home and sit in front of my computer all night long trying to do something, anything that will help me get to where I want to be.  Tweet chats, webinars, blog posts, e-mails, WordPress & website creation/upkeep. The list just seems to get longer every day. The strange thing is that I love all of it, (don’t believe me? Check out my new theme song) but sometimes I feel like it must not be enough because I still don’t have the job I know I deserve, and I’m writing this from my bed, in my room, at my parent’s house…

So while I sit here feeling sorry for myself, (don’t worry, this will pass…I just need a moment) I realize that the good news is that I know that I’m doing the right things and I know that change doesn’t happen overnight. I also know that my hard work will pay off eventually, so I’m not going to give up.

I think this is something all entry-level professionals experience at some point.  But as long as you can honestly say that you are working hard to accomplish your goals whether that means getting a job, a promotion, a raise or an apartment far away from your parent’s house, that’s all we can ask of ourselves, right?

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  1. March 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Ashley, you have not only given yourself good advice, but you are following it, the latter being the hard part. Success is about staying focused (you’re doing that) and being prepared and ready when opportunity presents itself. Doing the work is what gets you the result (you’re doing that too). Time is currency and you are investing yours well. All good investments take time to deliver the return you want, so patience is always required. Believing in yourself, building positive, sharing relationships with others, and leading from your heart are powerful tools for your future. Stick with your plan. I guarantee it will deliver exactly what you want. Enjoy the ride…that’s where all the learning is. You are a great role model.

    • March 18, 2010 at 8:44 am

      Thanks, Dawn! I really appreciate that. Sometimes it’s frustrating, but nobody ever said it was going to be easy! Thank you for your ongoing support. It means so much to me!

  2. March 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I really relate to this post, and have been and continue to be in similar situations. (I hope you are further along by the time you are my age than I am, as I am just now starting to make a dent in things. A really tiny one.)

    But never deny yourself the right to be feed up with things. I recently blogged about their very thing, actually. I don’t think everyone understood what I meant, but the thesis for the post was that we have every right to mention and declare we are unhappy with where we are. That we are weary of all of the work not paying off. That we simply aren’t catching any breaks.

    It’s even ok to acknowledge that we can’t do any more than we are doing. Or that we might be doing too much.

    You seem to be doing all that you need to do. And you seem to be far better at it than I ever have been. (The whole networking/making friends thing.) So best of luck to you, and I’ll do my part by talking about your blog when I can.

    • March 18, 2010 at 8:50 am

      I agree that we are all entitled to feel hopeless or defeated every once in a while out of frustration and exhaustion. I think the goal, however, is to not let those feelings take over. My tactic is staying positive and putting 110% into everything I do. I can’t do it all, I’m not perfect, but I will get to where I want to be because I work hard, and I believe I deserve it.
      Thanks for your comments, Ty. Keep on keepin’ on, my friend!
      For those of you who don’t know, Ty wrote a blog inspired by this post! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/9JTtIE

  3. @emrosario
    March 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Ashley,

    Finally got around to commenting! I can definitely agree with this post. I understand where you are coming from as far as feeling like your skill-set isn’t being used to its potential, and having the passion for something but not quite having that career you want yet. But I think the fact that you realize this and are working hard to achieve it shows that you will be successful and achieve your goals. Plenty of people are happy to just stay where they’re at! Making connections with people, the blog, tweets, and everything else you are doing are a great way to go, and I think they are going to lead you to where you want to be. I wish you the best of luck and hopefully you land your gig in NYC 🙂

  4. March 18, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Thanks for the comment, Elisabeth! Right now, entry-level employees seem to be having a really hard time. Everywhere I go I hear people who are dissatisfied with their jobs but too afraid to find something else in this economy or are unemployed with few or no prospects. But like I said, the only thing we can do is work hard to change our situations. It’s corny to say but this too shall pass! I appreciate the well wishes! Looking forward to finally making it to NYC!

  5. March 26, 2010 at 8:58 am

    You’re definitely doing the right thing. I found in college by doing some things right and some things wrong that making career transitions you are truly happy with takes usually months of preparation and long-term personal brand building. I’m working on personal branding now for a May-July job search, for example.

    I’ve found so many employers are impressed that I even have a blog, and yours is really good, so you’re on the right track for sure. I wish you the best of luck in your job search.

    • March 26, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Thanks so much, Beth! I really appreciated the kind words and encouragement! I wish you luck on your upcoming job search as well! Keep me posted!

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