July 16, 2019, by Leah Sharpe
How to Deal With Career FOMO. Yes, It’s A Thing.
By Valentina Corrao, Employability Officer
I am sure you are all familiar with the acronym FOMO. For those of you who are not, it means Fear Of Missing Out, the apprehension linked to missing out on opportunities, events, and social interactions that are happening elsewhere.
Well, it looks like career FOMO is also a thing.
On our jobs board alone, there are more than 850 graduate vacancies and our Careers and Employability Service holds over 250 careers events a year. Social media doesn’t help either with people sharing their accomplishments all the time. It’s easy to feel left behind and that you need to act fast.
With so much going on, it’s only natural, and to a certain extent healthy, to consider all the options available and imagine different scenarios. Would I be a good marketer? Is my dream job in finance? Could I make a living out of my writing? Would I be a good lecturer? Should I apply for that graduate scheme?
It’s easy to get carried away in fearing that you are missing out on the job you didn’t apply for, the networking event you didn’t attend or the insight day you missed because of that deadline, imagining how things could be different “if…”.
I have been through my fair share of zigzagging throughout my career and I believe that whilst it’s good to have options, it might also add a few layers of apprehension you probably don’t need.
So here’s a list of five things you could do:
1. A burden shared is half a burden. Share your thoughts with your friends and fellow students. You’ll see you are not the only one feeling that way. Everything looks more glamorous on Instagram, but once you start actually talking to people, you will soon realise there are bad experiences as well as good ones. Not all that glitters is gold.
2. Book an appointment with one of our career advisers. They might be able to highlight aspects of certain roles that might not sound ideal to you anymore, or might be able to help you narrow down the list of roles/sectors you are actually interested in. This will help reduce the broad range of opportunities you’re looking at.
3. Make the most out of what you do. Remember that transferable skills are important and different roles might have more in common than what you might think. What you have learnt on a marketing internship, might be key to landing a job in finance a few months later.
4. Diamonds might be forever, but jobs aren’t. Chances are you will change your job several times in your career. Your first job is probably not going to be for life. Keep number 3 in mind. Take a step back and look ahead.
5. It’s ok to make a career faux pas. As everything in life, it’s all a matter of trial and error. So don’t be too hard on yourself and aim to continuously improvement. There is still a lot to discover about yourself and your strengths. It’s not a defeat, it’s a step forward in your learning curve.
You can book an appointment with the Careers and Employability Service, where our experienced advisers are available for face-to-face discussions through regular drop-in sessions and one-to-one appointments. If you feel like you need additional support or individual counselling, contact our Counselling Service or the University of Nottingham Health Service.