One of the most difficult things about having an unorthodox career path is that you're never sure when you're supposed to celebrate your accomplishments. Here's what I mean...
If you go from high school, to college, and then cap it off with a 9-to-5, your friends and family have clear indications when they're supposed to celebrate your achievements. They’ll know when to buy you a gift (because you got engaged) or when to take you out to dinner (because you received a promotion). They know because they've walked the same path. But what if you're not taking the traditional path and you've opted to take the road "less traveled by"? In my experience, things get murky once you take that road. And not just for others, but for yourself, too.
This post could easily be misread as a millennial tantrum, but that's not what this is about at all. What it is about is this: as more of us make unconventional life choices, it has become difficult to know when to celebrate.
Maybe I feel this way because I've always had a high premium on celebrating things and maybe that sort of behavior doesn't resonate with you, so this post won't resonate with you either. Maybe you don't need to feel celebrated. Please know, it's not that I want constant affirmation, but sometimes I do want to celebrate the things happening in my life, even if they're not the big, cinematic moments we’re often trained to look for.
For many of my friends, their life doesn't necessarily lend itself to those life-altering moments and if I wait to celebrate people until they get that big promotion, I could be waiting a long, long time. My advice? Celebrate them long before the wedding or the engagement or the new career. Celebrate them while they’re on that less-traveled road. Believe me, it’s not an easy road sometimes.