Before there was snapchat, there was Instagram and before Instagram, we had Facebook. But before that? #FOMO (fear of missing out) didn’t exist yet– can we were probably a lot happier.
Fear of missing out—or if you’re social media savvy #FOMO—is a very real thing. In the post-Instagram world, it’s much harder to feel content with your life when you given constant glimpses into everyone’s cooler, better days and nights.
So how’s this obsessive need to compare and compete affecting our careers?
From work perks to higher salary spending, it can be all too easy to let the green-eyed monster rear her ugly head. As we scroll through people’s pictures of chic start-up offices, champagne toasts at elegant promotion celebrations , and seemingly unlimited paid vacation days spent exploring Machu Picchu, our cubicles begin to feel claustrophobic.
But instead of feeling down and out about your current career sitch, let’s decipher those uneasy feelings. Once you’ve found the source,boost your own career satisfaction with these four tips to kick FOMO to the curb.
QUIT THE COMPARISON
We all know from experience: most pictures and updates on social media have been carefully selected and edited to portray our best possible selves. While it is nice to keep it upbeat, this can lead to feelings of disconnect and yes, FOMO, when it looks like everyone else has it better.
Let’s kick it back to kindergarten and remember one of those simple lessons we learned before Facebook existed: the grass is always greener on the other side.
It’s easy to get swept away by visions of where we want to be as we grow impatient waiting for the raises, promotions, and other opportunities that signal job success. But instead of jumping ahead, learn to trust the process.
When scrolling through your feeds, take what you see with a grain of salt. After all, work is still work, and there’s no truly perfect situation out there. Everyone runs into issues, conflicts, and challenges in the office. The story behind every photo runs deeper than the cups of coffee artfully arranged on your dream desk.
Ogling the new traveling gig your acquaintance is always Snapchatting? Wish you could land a job in NYC at that PR firm you’ve been stalking on Instagram? Whatever your aspiration is, instead of stewing in jealousy over your social media pal’s 9-to-5, why not reach out and connect with her?
Ask about how she landed her coveted job, or how she’s finding her experienceso far. Chances are you’ll hear a different side of the story and get a little deeper into the details than one picture can communicate. Who knows? Maybe she has a few tips and tricks to share with you to help you on your way.
FOCUS ON THE NOW
Let’s turn off our phones for a second and tune thoughts back in on yourself. It’s easy to get swept away by visions of where we want to be as we grow impatient waiting for the raises, promotions, and other opportunities that signal job success. But instead of jumping ahead, learn to trust the process.
Where you are now is preparing you for where you’re heading. Don’t rush through or skip out on these growth opportunities all around you right now. Think about how far you’ve already come in your own career journey, and celebrate the little wins. Maybe you love the cubicle you so painstakingly decorated, have found an amazing friend in a coworker, or get to finally handle a bigger account.
When you take your eyes off everyone else, you may just find yourself happy right where you are.
MAKE A PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
At the end of the day, if you’re truly dissatisfied with your workplace or job, know you can make a change. You are never stuck!
Ask yourself: what do I need to do to get where I want to be?
Perhaps you need more time, professional growth, work experience, or skills development before you can land the job of your dreams. Or, maybe you just need to take the leap and start applying.
Instead of sitting back and watching others enjoy the ride, make a plan and get to work! Set aside time daily to brush up on your interview skills, dust off and update your resume, reach out to your contacts, and research job positions. Give yourself 30 days to make a change and watch how it all unfolds.
In the end, though social media is a nearly inescapable part of our lives, it’s important to remember to live beyond the screen. While the connections and community cultivated online can be a beautiful thing, know when to unplug and simply enjoy where you are and what you’re experiencing right now.
How do you let go of the #FOMO? Give us some advice.