How to Prevent Career FOMO

Are you worried that your career isn’t moving fast enough? Are you always looking for the next “big break”? Do you feel left out when missing a meeting, even if it’s your day off?

If the answer is yes, you may be experiencing career FOMO (Fear of missing out). The truth is, your career will not benefit from FOMO; it will only make it more stressful. However, there are a few ways you can control this feeling.


How Career FOMO Affects You

Thanks to social media, where everyone is posting the successful part of their story, you may think that all your high school colleagues, friends, or family members are doing better than you.

They’re celebrating promotions, enjoying a nice vacation, or bragging about new company milestones. Of course, you may end up believing that you’re the only one falling behind while everyone is living their best life.

Career FOMO will have a negative impact on job satisfaction, as you may end up feeling overlooked for the next promotion. So why should you work hard if they’re not rewarding your efforts? On the other hand, you could work too hard in a job environment with no real career advancement opportunities.

Career FOMO isn’t only affecting your job performance, as it will take a toll on your personal life as well. Constantly scrolling LinkedIn for the next career opportunity, investing too much time and money in seminars, or constantly being stressed out about your job will quickly have an impact on your mental health.

So here are a few tips on how you can avoid career FOMO while keeping your career on a steady course.

Sometimes, LinkedIn may feel overwhelming because of its large number of job notifications. Checking each available job, applying, and waiting for a response, might quickly lead to burnout. The truth is, that not every job that is on LinkedIn is better than your current one.

You shouldn’t totally quit LinkedIn, as you can use it to boost your career. But limit how much time you spend on it. Reply to work-related messages, keep your profile up to date, but don’t waste time endlessly scrolling and comparing yourself to others.

Remember, many people are investing a lot of time in asking friends or coworkers for positive feedback or skill endorsements.

Use Social Media Blocker

In the beginning, you may find it difficult to cut out browsing social media from your daily habits. To make it easier, you can use a social media blocker to limit how much time you’re spending on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and so on.

There are social media blockers available as apps for your phone and computers or as extensions for your browser.

2. Make Your Career Map

If you’re not sure your career is heading in the right direction, your fear of missing out will only increase. When creating your career map, write down where your current position is and identify your destination. Then, analyze your current job and employer to determine if you’re on the right way.

3. Keep the Plan to Yourself

There’s a chance that you’ll fall a bit behind schedule, but that doesn’t mean your career will come to an abrupt halt. While it helps to have someone holding you accountable, you shouldn’t have friends and family constantly nagging you about your job. This will only increase your feeling of missing out.

4. Bond With Your Coworkers

If you’ve isolated yourself from your coworkers and are always completing tasks by yourself, there’s a good chance you’ll be suffering from career FOMO.

For sure, you have skills such as talking in public or keeping a straight face when negotiating that aren’t part of your CV. If no one in your workplace gets to know you better, you’ll never have a chance to showcase your unique talents.

By bonding with your coworkers, you’ll have a sense of belonging, which can boost job performance due to better communication. Your coworkers will think of you as a team player, which may increase your chances of being considered for the next promotion or raise.

5. Build Your Network

There are three types of connections that you can use to keep your career on a steady path:

  • Personal connections. This would include friends, family, high school or college colleagues, or even people that share the same hobbies as you. While they may not work in the same field as you do, they know you as a person and might recommend you to business managers or owners.
  • Strategic connections. These include leaders, visionaries, and mentors. While you may not work directly with them, you can get pragmatic feedback about how to advance your career faster or how the work environment will change in the next years.
  • Operational connections. This network’s purpose is to build a rapport with the people that you’re working with, so you can trust each other and complete your work assignment.

6. Learn In-Demand Skills

When suffering from career FOMO, you may feel that everyone is getting a promotion, instead of you. While you can’t control management’s decisions, you can make yourself a better candidate for the next promotion.

Check your desired job description and write down the required skills and qualifications. Fortunately, there are a lot of in-demand and profitable skills that you can learn.

7. Do What You Love

Maybe you’re at your current job because it comes with good pay, and you plan on retiring early. And once you retire with a big bank account, you’ll focus on what you love doing.

If you’re in it just for the money, you’ll constantly think about advancing your career as fast as possible, and FOMO will be a constant thought.

If money is the only thing keeping you at a job you don’t like, you can try and turn your passion into a side hustle. Once you’ll be earning enough to quit your job, you can take your creative pursuit full-time.

Get Over Your Career FOMO

Most careers stretch over a few decades, so it won’t do you any good constantly stressing that you’re missing job opportunities.

Anyway, you might be already doing better than you think, so you don’t have to keep working all the time. If you find it difficult to take some time off, there are a few tools that can help you.

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