Today’s #SameHereHero: Eric Mendelsohn (We’ve talked a lot about how work can often be something we myopically & obsessively focus on when we are passionately driven, causing us to lose balance & neglect other important aspects in life. What happens however when you haven’t found a passion for a career you want to pursue? What stresses & anxieties may arise as a result? Can you escape those feelings regardless of where you are at in your career or your life? Eric’s story may sound very familiar to many…even if his #SameHere🤙sign may look a little strange due to a “injury” preventing him from extending his pinkie finger ).
“Growing up, I was fortunate in that I didn’t experience any major life traumas, out of the ‘norm.’ I grew up in a middle-class suburb, surrounded by family & friends, & was fortunate to get accepted to the University of Wisconsin. That school was a great fit for me, as there was a good mix of academics & my passion for ‘big campus’ sports. Upon graduation, I went into a traditional finance type of role in the corporate world, & that’s when I started to realize that I lacked that same passion for what I was doing in my day-to-day responsibilities, that I had enjoyed in other aspects of life. I was too focused on finding a stable career in what was at the time a tough job market, that I never did any real soul searching to find out what would make me happy waking up to each morning. Anxiety started to set in as I wondered whether this lack of passion would be my fate for the duration of my working life. It sounds ridiculous to think that there would be this feeling of being ‘locked-in’ to a career path that didn’t excite you, even at a young age, but that was the stuck feeling I had & I couldn’t shake it.
Other friends of mine & peers my age continued to move up in careers they were passionate about. They spoke about pay raises, title bumps & new exciting responsibilities they were taking on. While I was so happy for them, I can’t help but admit that with news of each new triumph they were having, my confidence in my career & enjoyment continued to sink, & I questioned myself more & more, leading to even more anxiety. As is the case with anxiety, that ‘stuck’ feeling affected my enjoyment of things outside of work as well. It’s amazing how feeling that angst for one thing, can pour over to everything you’re involved in & a vicious cycle ensues.
To break the cycle, I decided to spend some time soul searching & discovering what would actually make me happy. I left for biz school at Emory University & through that experience, I was able to better identify my my strengths & weaknesses. This was the first step of honing in on what would excite me. In time, I was able to realize an entrepreneurial path would suit me best. I was always fascinated by residential real estate & decided to give it a try. I quickly saw that I was passionate about doing this as a career – not just because of the topic, but because of the ability to help people realize their dream of home ownership or using my knowledge of data to help investors make sound decisions. While my day-to-day is filled with helping buyers find an ideal property & executing strategies to market a property for sale to achieve the best price, I was able to discover why I was so passionate about this career. My true passion is helping people.
I found that I enjoy networking events – both attending & setting them up myself, as they allow me to meet more people, pick more brains, & continue to learn (about something I didn’t realize I’d enjoy so much). I have a professional network that I am proud of & that affords me the opportunity to mix with people outside of traditional networking environments, & grow my social network as well. I even started my own real estate blog: http://homebuyingnewyorkcity.com
We take for granted when we grow up that something like sports or music or the arts grabs our attention…but we feel very lost when we can’t find that same joy in what we do most frequently – work. Years ago, I knew I had to engage in healthy practices to clear my mind of all the stress & anxiety that had built up over time as I was lost searching for the right career fit…that was the only way I’d be able to keep it together. I started seeing a therapist to release normal weekly stress, went to the gym more frequently to make sure I was in a routine & releasing endorphins, & took yoga classes to more specifically relax my mind.
While my story isn’t your traditional major-trauma related one that caused my anxiety, or dip in mental health, it is probably one that a good number of you out there can relate to. Anxiety is no joke, & that feeling of being ‘stuck’ can really play tricks on you & make you believe there is no way out. I shared this story in the hopes of showing others out there who are in the situation I was in, that while it does take a lot of strength, exploration & commitment to overcome that feeling & take a leap of faith with something as big as your career, in the end, it can truly be worth it. If a life decision or uncertainty is causing you anxiety, don’t be afraid to make a bold decision so that you can escape those feelings. #SameHere & I hope you all can find something you are passionate about to pursue – personally &/or professionally!”