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Career FOMO – What is it? (And 3 Tips for Dealing with it)

Topics: Career Advice

Whether you realize it or not, everybody experiences FOMO in some way throughout their life. According to a recent post by Career Contessa Lauren McGoodwin, FOMO is an acronym that stands for “The Fear of Missing Out.” Think about it – you’re at a party, surrounded by your closest friends, when eventually, you find yourself with your head down to your smartphone scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and the Twitters, despite the fact that you are surrounded by just about anybody you would actually want to hang out with. The fact is, we have all been there, and sometimes this annoying way of thinking trickles into our careers in the exact same way.

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McGoodwin tells HelloGiggles that early in her career, she felt so plagued by career FOMO that she thought about it almost 24 hours a day. Even during non-work activities, McGoodwin’s career FOMO drove her to obsessively check LinkedIn and compare numerous career opportunities. Not to mention, McGoodwin was constantly comparing her own career and job title to those of her friends. In turn, this brought a wave of anxiety that shook a confident, career-savvy young woman to question herself just as her career was starting.

Eventually, McGoodwin realized her anxiety and obsessing wasn’t going to get her to a place of career happiness and she knew she needed to get over the FOMO mind-game. Here are her tips for conquering Career FOMO:

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Put Things Into Perspective

You’re best friend just got an all expenses paid trip to sunny Cancun. Cue the career FOMO and you might start thinking about looking for a company that has better company perks or culture. The important part? The reality of the situation. Your friend is a top performer in sales and *really* deserves this trip. She has been working all year to meet her quota, and you should be happy for her! A little understanding goes a long way.

Realize That Life Isn’t That Glamorous

It can be painful to get on Facebook sometimes and see your friends posting all sorts of “glamorous” photos of them at conferences, in their super sleek offices or boozing at the office happy hours. It’s easy to get jealous. McGoodwin brings up a good point when she says to remember that on social media, the beauty of it all is that we get to hand pick and choose what to put out there. She also says that 99% of people often choose to keep the life stressors off their news feeds. Moral of the story? You aren’t alone, and we’re all equally stressed out.

Appreciate the Little Things

McGoodwin’s last and most obvious tip, appreciate the small things. McGoodwin’s first post-college job happened right in the middle of the recession, so being grateful that she had a full-time job with benefits was more than enough to keep her motivated.

What can you do if you are experiencing Career FOMO? Practice McGoodwin’s advice and remember that there is one positive side affect of Career FOM – it can often serve as a wake up call that gets you thinking about what other careers you want to explore in life.

McGoodwin’s best piece of advice? Don’t forget to use Career FOMO as a motivator vs. a demotivator. Get that down, and you’ll be on the superhighway to career awesomeness.

Do you know someone who has career FOMO? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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