Monday, September 17, 2007

Getting Ahead?

What is the secret of getting ahead? I feel as if there are so many people my age simply whooshing by me on the success track. It seems there is something that they know that I don't, that they have that I don't.

There's Gabriel Hammond, with his multi-million dollar hedge fund, who has declared no need for an MBA to make it on Wall Street. There's my friend Margaret, Executive Director of a business association. Or Roger Federer, who's the same age as I am and a world champion tennis player. They're all "made it," in one way or another. Why not me?

When I was in college, I was looking at the end of the dot-com boom, and seeing tons of people my age or a little older becoming the infamous dot-com millionaires. I figured with the economy in such great shape, it wouldn't be long before I'd be on easy street too. Sadly, no. I was in the first class to graduate after 9/11, into the land of down-sized job-hungry experienced professionals. One of the jobs I applied for, one that I really wanted, an entry level at a socially-progressive women's organization, was snapped up by a former Associate Director-level professional. How could I compete with that?

It's five years later, and I still haven't made that much progress. I'm learning to network, to put my name out there, join associations, volunteer for committees, but it wears me out. I hate being tired all the time, and it feels like whining when I tell myself, "it's okay to be tired, that's what happens to people with fibromyalgia." It feels like my body is betraying my ambitions.

While I tend to be a long-term thinker, a big-picture person, I'm trying right now to take work one day at a time. One contact at a time. One professional outfit at a time. One project at a time. And perhaps, in a month, in two months, I'll feel like I'm further ahead than I was before.

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