They say that you may have to “kiss a few frogs before you find your prince”. It can be true for your personal life, and it can also be true when it comes to handling less-than-ideal workplace experiences.
You might be fortunate and strike gold in every job you have. You may end up working in the best teams, with the best clients/customers, and get the best mentoring possible. Or, as the more common experience would have it, you’ll probably enjoy some jobs more than others; and you may even have some downright awful roles that you would rather put behind you and never dwell on again.
While life is way too short to stay in a job that you detest, there is something to be said for embracing the bad experiences along with the good ones. Here’s why kissing a few ‘frogs’ will most certainly help to elevate your career:
Even bad jobs can be good. You can learn something from every single person that you interact with. Even the worst-of-the-worst colleagues or clients can still teach you valuable life and work lessons.
You need a yardstick. How will you know what is good for your career if you don’t ever have bad experiences to compare against, or to help keep things in perspective?
You’ll build necessary muscle. Mental muscle, resilience and endurance can only form under pressure. You’ll never attain the level of toughness required for succeeding in the creative comms industry without coming up against challenging people and situations.
You’ll learn that no relationship is going to be perfect. No matter how much we’d like to think otherwise, no two people (that means you and your colleagues/clients/managers) are going to get along all of the time. Frog-like experiences help us learn how to coexist and work well with others and how to improve ourselves. That’s encouraging news…right?!
Yes, you are going to find yourself working in companies (or in roles, or with clients/customers) that you don’t particularly like. It’s inevitable. As long as you are not waking up every day with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach (in which case, it’s better for your health to find a new role), then the chances are good that you’ll benefit from each of your experiences.
Your life is a product of the choices you make every day. You can choose to let negative work experiences affect you, or not. You can choose to them dictate your level of ‘enjoyment’ and define you, or you can rise to meet each challenge.
If you choose to, you can make every single role you have count and benefit your long-term career in some way – even if it’s to clarify what you DON’T want to do for a job, or what you NEVER want to ever be like as a person. Learn what you can from your nice and not-so-nice colleagues, clients and projects; and squeeze as much juicy goodness as possible from each role. Kissing those frogs will be worth it – someday.