I hope that it is Merry and Bright for everyone. If it is not looking like it will be for you, I hope that something stands out as good. Focus on that and you will make it.
When I graduated from University I was not prepared for the career I paid (lots) to learn about. That is my fault for choosing the wrong school, wrong course and not questioning things as much as I should have. That left this year as a quest to get over my fear of change and failure. Fear of not being “good enough” to graduate (some how I did,) not being able to get a job (still at my old one,) and not being able to do what I want to do (Web Designer!) This year I failed to do a lot of things that would have made it easier to do what I wanted to do. I got the wrong internship, I did not keep up with my studies, and I did not ask questions or look hard at what was going on. Only when I got frustrated and angry did I start making changes.
I am not saying that this year was a waste or all bad. I had tons of great things happen. I DID graduate from a reputable University. I DID get an internship. I DID create some websites (no matter how basic.) I DID quite my internship when I realized that it was not going where I needed it to. My spouse and I made the move to home ownership (that was stressful.) I have a new internship lined up and I have plans on making next year good. All in all the good outweighs the bad since I learned things that enabled me to move on.
One of the tools I used to get over my fears is Planning. I find that making a rough outline helps keep me on track and keeps the fear of change at bay. Whenever I HAVE to do anything (that I don’t want to do or am afraid to do) I plan. I actually plan the fun out of it and cover pretty much every contingency (I have no idea why I did not go into project management.) Plans allow for the greatest amount of light to shine on something that you are afraid of. Especially if it is something new.
My rough plan for 2014 is pretty basic right now. Do some follow up education so I can understand Web Design and Development better. There are many things that make no sense to me and in order to get a job I feel that I should understand them and be able to work with them. As I learn more I want to rebuild my website (down for financial purposes – darn house) and the others I have built, practice, practice. I also want to start building demo sites and templates for some of the various content managers out there. I think if I can learn enough about those I can secure a decent internship (paying?) or start charging for my services (freelance.) This means reducing the number of hours I spend on graphic design. While it is fun I need to spend that time coding and expanding my Web Designer skills.
I have other personal plans too. I plan on spending more time off my butt and walking around. Exercise is important and I can use the time to plan out other things. I can also increase my collection of photos so I have things to use when I need to make a graphic for a site. I plan on encouraging my spouse to blog and finish his degree. I plan on seeing a doctor on a regular basis (that is really scary in my mind.) I also plan on taking a vacation this year. I has been a while and I am feeling the need to take a break. That means saving up some green and paid time off. I should probably spend some time with my friends too.
Fear is natural. I think almost everyone is afraid of new things. Things that they cannot fathom or understand. I find planning helps reduce the fear. Fear will never go away until you deal with its cause, but you can lessen it to the point where you can deal with it. All it takes is some planning and research. I need to research my medical plan and learn about finding a provider and paying the bills. I need to learn how to use my insurance and so many other things. I am worried that I will put it off again this year (it was a goal for 2012.) I know that if I do research and ask questions I can over come this and help other co-workers figure it out. Once I figure it out I know the fear of it will be gone and I can spend that energy fearing something new. The process repeats.
Have a great holiday season!
Do what you need to do, even if it is scary. The fear will go away once you do it.