Whether we like it or not, our jobs and the people we work with have a way of shaping who we are. Over the past year and a half of working for Darling Magazine I have grown and learned a lot, but the following are three key lessons that stand out to me the most:
1. The idea of a “dream job” is not an illusion.
When I graduated from college I had big aspirations for myself: Find a job that you love. Seems simple enough. Turns out, everyone graduates from college thinking that.
I didn’t know it at the time, but this is no easy feat. I took entry-level jobs in LA that I thought were good, powerful companies for me to work for. But those jobs were miserable, they were uninspired, and they slowly beat the idea that work would ever be something that I loved out of my young, naïve heart. I would stick with such jobs for as long as I could manage and once I was at my breaking point I would chalk it up to good experience for my resume and move on.
Believing that there is a job out there that you will love does not make you naïve or entitled, it makes you want to work harder to get there.
When I came upon Darling Magazine, I instantly fell in love with the mission of the company. All of a sudden there was purpose to my work. I want to push this company to new heights and I want to see it grow and thrive. I believe in it. I never knew that’s all it took to love your job. Believe in what you are doing. At the end of the day, work is work – and no job out there is going to be fun and fulfilling all the time, but all of that hard work I did at all of those other companies brought me to a place where I could choose to work for an ethos and mission that gets me excited to further grow it – and that, to me, is the dream. Believing that there is a job out there that you will love does not make you naïve or entitled, it makes you want to work harder to get there. So put your head down, work, and get there.
2. I am not immune to the lies of the media.
Just because I work for a company that is about empowering women and encouraging them to be comfortable as they are, does not mean I don’t face insecurities and self-doubt. I understand fully just how depressing it is to constantly try to meet the media’s standards of women. It is a struggle for me almost every day. I don’t even like to take pictures because I don’t want to look at myself.
That makes the mission of Darling even more tangible for me. It’s a real problem in the world – I know it is. I’m working on releasing myself from the fear of how everyone else perceives me and focusing on what comprises the strong woman that I am. But it is a battle, and it’s not easy. Working here doesn’t mean I necessarily have any tricks up my sleeve on how to protect myself from the onslaught of lies about what a woman should be and it definitely doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with insecurities of my own. Lesson learned.
3. Women are actually beautiful.
I know that sounds so cliché, but this is something that took me working here at Darling Magazine to learn. We launched our “Real Not Retouched Campaign” about a year ago and we asked women to hold the magazine open to the pages that read, “None of the women in this magazine have been retouched.” I began to notice that the more unique the woman holding the magazine, the stronger the photo was. That, in turn, opened my eyes to how many beautiful and inimitable women there are.
Everywhere I go now I notice the women who pass me on the street, in the store, in traffic in the car next to me and I want to shove the magazine in their hands and take a picture of them. I don’t, because that would be weird, but you understand my point. I now look at women in a different way; each and every one I see is so different and lovely. I never realized how narrow my idea of beauty was until I started looking for unique characteristics in women – we all have them, and it’s fascinating. Now I think it’s what makes us all so striking.
I now look at women in a different way; each and every one I see is so different and lovely.
Take some time to stop and think about where you are working. It’s easy to go through the day to day and not step back and see how far you’ve come. What has changed about you since you have started working at your current job? It’s so much easier to appreciate your job when you can look at how you have grown since working there. I appreciate these lessons from Darling and I’m excited to see what wisdom another year and a half will bring.
What has working at your job taught you?
Image via Milena Mallory