Measuring Your Career Through Nervous Excitement

Are you taking the right risks in order to progress your career and your opportunity for learning?

When looking back at your career, can you remember the times where you were nervously excited because of a decision you had to make.  Originally, I was going to call this post ‘measuring your career by gut wrenching moments’ but I wanted to make the clear distinction between the negative insinuation of gut-wrenching vs. the positive excitement of nervousness, even though the right level of nervousness can still make your stomach churn.

When I’ve switched roles in my career there has been a wide range of nervous excitement that occurred with every opportunity all the way from zero to that same feeling you get when you are sitting in the first car of a roller coaster and are about to take off.  Looking back I can say that the times where I’ve had the highest levels of that nervous excitement are the opportunities that generally led me to the places of greatest learning and growth.

At first, when I was presented with the type of decision that generated a positive uneasy feeling, it was harder to make.  That feeling of uneasiness made me really question the opportunity and take a harder look.  Over time, thanks to the impact, learning and growth from those decisions, I’ve learned to embrace that feeling and know that if that type of excited nervousness is occurring it must be a good sign.

Secondly, I’ve been trying to examine what it is about certain activities, job or project opportunities or other things that specifically give me those feelings vs. the seemingly same activities or opportunities that don’t give me that feeling so I can be more aware of what motivates and interests me.   I find it interesting to examine which opportunities initially interest me vs. ones that don’t.  By taking the time to examine that I feel I can learn lots more about what would drive me the most and where I could have the most impact to the outcome.

So, how many times have you been nervously excited by an opportunity? How did it turn out?  Even if it didn’t work out great, did the learning from that help in the long run?  Could you base your next career move off of what scares you?

Matt Kane

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