How to Avoid Career FOMO
With pictures of friends laying on sandy beaches, dipping their toes into peaceful lakes and posing in front of beautiful mountain views cluttering our social media feeds this summer, it is easy to feel some FOMO. Even if you don’t know what FOMO stands for, if you are on social media, chances are that you have experienced it firsthand. FOMO, Fear of Missing Out, is a term that was popularized by millennials to describe that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you encounter posts on social media that make you feel like you are missing out.
While the term FOMO originated as a way to describe the feelings of inadequacy that people felt when comparing their social lives to pictures on a screen, it can easily be used to describe jealous or envious feelings that we encounter in our professional lives.
Luckily, there are ways to combat career FOMO so that you don’t start wallowing in self-pity when your college roommate’s LinkedIn profile is updated and you realize that she just landed your dream job.
Here are a few of those ways that you can avoid career FOMO:
- Find your trigger.
FOMO can strike for a variety of reasons, but there is typically something specific that triggers feelings of inadequacy, jealousy or fear when it comes to your career. Try your best to pinpoint your trigger (hint: it is probably what you feel your career is lacking) so that you can start working towards attaining it yourself.
- Take a break from social media.
I mean it. Turn it off, take a break, unplug, whatever you want to call it- put your social media on hold. Sometimes a little space is needed to give you a sense of clarity. Taking a break from social media will also give you more time to focus on your career and improving your chances of creating an enviable career for yourself. What will you do with all of your extra time? Journaling, seeking career advice from those that are where you want to be, attending conferences, and doing whatever else it takes to reach your goals.
- Accept that missing out is a part of life.
That may sound harsh; however, you need to come to terms with the fact that you cannot work for every cool company, receive every promotion or lead every project that you see and hear about. It’s just not possible. Once you accept that you WILL miss out, the fear of missing out won’t have as much of a hold on your emotional state.
- Take accountability for your choices.
Before you allow FOMO make you feel resentful towards others, take a step back and consider that you are the only one who truly has control over your career. If you feel like you are missing out on opportunities around the office, talk to others about how they reached their career goals. In addition, start having frank conversations with your boss about where you want to be, and truly listen to their feedback and advice. Go to the extra training, seek out a mentor, take on new responsibilities- when you are busy being accountable for your own career, you will have less time to focus on your FOMO.
- Celebrate your successes.
You may not be where you want to be in your career, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t successful. When you do reach milestones, even if they aren’t as big as the successes of your coworkers, take the time to recognize them. By focusing on your own success, seeing others succeed won’t feel so enviable.
By following these tips, you may even find yourself feeling more JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). Afterall, there is a certain amount of comfort in knowing that you are taking the necessary steps to reach your professional goals.