We’ve all been in situations when something work-related just hasn’t gone our way. And if it’s something you feel you have worked super hard for then it’s even worse. Gutting even. Not everything we plan for or aim towards always comes off, so how can you cope with a professional disappointment without taking it out on your loved ones or hitting the gin?
I have all kinds of mini-disappointments in my working life. From not being booked by an awesome sounding couple, to pressing publish on a blog post to a sea of silence. In general however, life is good. I work hard and most times I have happy news. All kinds of opportunities come my way and I like to think I grab them all by the short & curlies and make the best of them. I love my clients and I get to work with great photographers at Photography Farm. Plus when all the hard work from the workshop is done, we get to kick back and make use of the rockstar facilities – it’s really pretty great. I even recently went to New York because I was invited to speak for the B&H Event Space and The Blogcademy. Amazing. In between the two events we hung out and generally had a blast. Recently however, I faced a big career disappointment.
A while back I was told that I was in line for a huge worldwide industry award. I had been nominated by some pretty high up people, whose radar I had no idea I was even on. The first thing I did was call Kat to scream my news down the phone as I knew she would understand what a big deal it was. It was super early in the morning but hey… that’s what friends are for. I felt like I had won an Oscar. However when I looked into the small print for the award, it turned out I couldn’t qualify. I was sooooo totally gutted. I felt like I had been invited to Buckingham Palace thinking I was getting an OBE only to be ushered in the servant’s entrance and told I had to polish the silver.
Now I know what you’re thinking, doesn’t she already have an award? Isn’t that a tad greedy to want another? Well it’s a little known fact that it’s just as hard work to stay at the top as it is to get to the top, and so I’m constantly looking at ways to push myself and improve. But once I found out I couldn’t even be considered anymore, I was left wishing that I never even knew I was nominated. To cope with these feelings, I turned to the person who had shared in the good news, thanks Mrs Williams for the wise words of support. My husband poured the wine and my little family all told me I was a winner in their eyes, but for a whole day I moped about feeling sorry for myself.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, here’s my advice. Firstly PLEASE don’t be tempted to spill your guts on your business social media. I am a firm believer in maintaining a happy and cheerful public face… A client or potential client won’t be impressed if you’re on Twitter or Facebook moaning about how work isn’t brilliant or you’re going through some personal trauma. Save all that stuff for your personal Facebook or actually go out in real life with friends and talk to them about it.
The way I see it, your professional social media is where you show off your edited highlights. Imagine if your business was a movie, you need to put out a trailer of all your best bits, not all the rubbish that ends up on the cutting room floor… you with me? Just remember that most other people are doing the same thing so don’t compare your director’s cut with their high octane preview. We all know that most of the time a movie doesn’t live up to it’s trailer anyway. So if you look at everybody else’s updates and feel bad, remember they are just sharing the best bits and the whole truth might be very different story indeed.