We tend to forget that baby steps still move you forward.
One of the biggest challenges I faced after graduating from college was the process of finding a job, more specifically interviewing. I don’t like interviews in general, they were too formal and felt so unnatural. All pressure was on you to portray yourself as the perfect human in a matter of a few minutes, and we all know; there is no such thing. If I prepared well for an interview, I felt like I would end up sounding like a robot. If I didn't prepare at all, that would also be evident. However, I still chose to wing it most of the time. I wasn't great at that either, but I still thought this approach was better. I was able to be more myself that way. Even if that meant freezing up during a question that made me nervous.
One question that still sticks in my mind today that I was repeatedly asked in interviews was "what are some of your accomplishments?" I would panic, and my mind would go blank. I would think to myself, I just graduated college, isn't that a big enough accomplishment in itself? The answer was apparent. Not when you are competing with thousands of others who also had a degree amongst so much more: Things like already completing three internships, continuing onto grad school, making dean's list, etc. I didn't have any of those things. Although graduating actually was an accomplishment, I couldn't think of much more to supplement that. Truth be told the whole college experience got the best of me, I could have been doing a lot more to improve my resume and I wasn't. I did work in the family restaurant business from the early age of 14, but I didn't even consider using that experience to my advantage. In my head, that was just a silly job I got forced into.
Now going back to the interview question: I was still able to improvise with some sort of answer whether good or bad. I was able to find small accomplishments to talk about but because they were small I thought they were unimportant, and wasn't able to speak about them confidently.
Years later, when I asked myself the same question. I thought about the question differently. Whether it seems big or small, an accomplishment is an accomplishment. Besides, magnitude is actually subjective and dependent on how it is portrayed and what makes it special. If I told you I just learned how to swim yesterday with no other information you probably wouldn't think much of it. If I told you I fell off a dock when I was 10 and almost drowned and have been scared to be near water since, and this was me finally overcoming my fear---now this sounds like a big deal.
Some days feel so mundane lately and I feel like I am not accomplishing much at times. But to say I am accomplishing nothing would be a big lie and I remind myself whether big or small an accomplishment is an accomplishment. So, I decided to make a list of some of my little accomplishments (most dealing with the restaurant) to remind myself I am doing more than I think. I am hoping though I will be able to make this list grow.
-Overturned a 1-star review into a 4-star review on yelp for the restaurant.
-Had a 1-star review on yelp removed completely without having to respond to the review or paying for it to be removed.
-Pitched the restaurant two times to the local newspaper for stories, both times were successful and two nice articles were written.
-Creation of website, Facebook page, and Instagram page for the restaurant and consistently keeping the pages active for at least 2 years now.
-Creation of new menu items for the restaurant that became popular
-Working besides family members without killing each other
-Successfully working with beside family period
-Ending a busy day at the restaurant with little complaints; many days none.
-Keeping up with this blog for over 2 years.
-Putting more smiles than frowns on people’s faces on daily basis