Average Doesn’t Mean Unsuccessful
Average people are allowed to have dreams. We’re allowed to dream big, small, and medium-sized. We’re allowed to chase dreams, fail at dreams, and succeed at dreams. What we need to remember is that our worth is not defined by whether we achieve a dream. Our worth is defined by how happy we are while going after them. After all, without our dime-a-dozen dreams, we would have nothing in life to strive for. In that case, wouldn’t you prefer chasing dreams over succeeding at all of them, anyway? I know I would. Without my average dreams, I have nothing.
15 Things Ordinary People Embrace About the Working World
- As mediocre people, we never take a job offer for granted.
Dozens, sometimes hundreds, sometimes thousands of people apply to job listings. Job listings for which only one lucky person can receive the golden ticket. With resumes that are great but ordinary when compared to the other applicants, it can be a hard gig out there for average job applicants. Whenever you start to go down the dark path of hating your job
just remember that your job chose you. Yes, average you out of all the other people out there. They could have chosen someone else, but they didn’t.
- It’s perfectly normal to not get praised on the regular.
As children, many of us grew up hearing “You’re awesome!” after doing literally nothing worthy of praise and received trophies for simply participating in activities. Then, we got to the workplace, where no one applauds us for completing tasks, such as promptly responding to emails, hitting goals, and altogether doing the things listed in our job description. But why would we be praised for those things? We are literally doing what we’re supposed to be doing. If you ever find yourself down about the lack of recognition you’re getting at work, just remind yourself this is a good thing. If you’re not doing a good enough job, you’re going to hear about it—and it won’t be good at all. This is why average really is awesome in the workplace.
- Sometimes it’s better to be good than great.
We’re not all going to be the best in our fields, and that’s okay. There’s only room for so many people at the top. You can still be a good lawyer, engineer, nurse, salesperson, marketer, or whatever occupation you are in without being on a list of the most impressive ones out there. It can be hard to remember this when you get zero praise at work and see top-notch employees publicly getting all the praise, but with great honor comes great expectations. Would you rather be held to a higher standard and be condemned for doing a good job, or would you rather be consistently good and lauded when you do great? Personally, I’m good with being good.
- We don’t have to be exceptional to trust our instincts.
I used to always ask if it was okay to do certain things at work before doing them. I knew I was just okay at my job, and I got nervous about every little decision I needed to make. That is, until someone told me, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.” After this, I began to trust my gut and started doing what I thought was right instead of annoying my boss every five seconds to find out. And guess what? I’ve been wrong many times, but I’ve never had to ask for forgiveness… at least not yet. Not to mention, those mistakes taught me more than I would have learned if I didn’t make them.
- A good-enough attitude goes a long way.
You don’t have to be overly friendly to everyone and smile all the time, but you certainly should never be a dick, either. Maintaining that happy-medium attitude is essential in order for average people to excel at work. Mediocre people are replaceable, so if your attitude is shit, guess where you’re going?
- Sometimes it’s best to aim for the happy medium.
When it comes down to it, work is just work for everyday employees. It’s not our lives—or at least it shouldn’t be. It’s just where we go for approximately forty hours a week and how we make money. Thus, as an average employee, you should never lose your shit over things that piss you off at work. You should either speak up with solutions of how things could be changed for the better, or forget it and move on. Complaining never makes a situation better.
- It’s okay to keep our work relationships on par with our job performance.
You don’t have to be best friends with your coworkers. Hell, you don’t need to even be friends with them. But to remain an average employee with a good enough attitude, you have to attend a healthy mix of “work things.” Whether it’s getting coffee together during the day or grabbing drinks at the bar around the corner at the end of the day, it’s important to bond with coworkers outside of the office. I know. Going places other than home after work is hard, especially when you have to go somewhere that involves the people you were just with all day, but you can’t always skip it. Go. Be social. Meet the people your coworkers are when they’re not in the office. It won’t hurt. In fact, it might make work easier when you find out everyone else is pretty unexceptional and ordinary, too.
- Not taking all of our paid time off doesn’t make us more impressive.
If you are average at your job, going into the office more than you are supposed to isn’t going to change anything. You’re not a hero for working so much that you accidentally missed out on your allotted vacation days. Nor are you exceptional for working while supposedly taking those days off. Average people need time off—for being sick, for mental health, for family time, for just because. Unless you own your own business and have no one covering for you, as a mediocre person, you’re not that important. Stop pretending and go live your life.
- Average people should help average people—we need each other.
Average people lift other average people up. Literally. There are only so many positions at a company. Because of this, you may see an average coworker who is a lot like you and think, I must do better than them in order to grow. But that’s not how it should be. If you work together, you can learn from each other as you climb the ladder together. Sure, you may be at different heights at some points, but that’s okay. It’s bound to happen, anyway. Wouldn’t you rather have a fellow average coworker who will reach down and help you up than have to climb alone?
- No one expects us to be impressive at networking events anyway, so we might as well fucking talk to people.
Never have I ever left a networking event and been like YES, I am so proud of myself for awkwardly standing in the corner and nibbling on a piece of cheese with a glass of wine in my hand, continuously asking my friend, “Should we go up to anyone?” Well, self, yes, you should go up to people. That is the fucking point of networking events. It won’t be weird. Average people are the target demographic of these things. Impressive people are too busy living their extraordinary lives to have time for such events, unless they’re speaking at them or being paid to go. Ordinary commoners like us, though? We need to network and meet likeminded, everyday people. So don’t worry that no one will want to talk to you. Everyone there signed up for the awkwardness. Embrace it and try to talk to a stranger. You never know whom you’ll meet, and like I said before, average people lift other average people up. You could always use more of them in your life.
- Average does not mean forgettable.
- Rejection can keep us in check—in a good way.
When you’re average, rejection is hardly ever about you. It’s about someone else being better suited for whatever it is you were going for. It’s not that you weren’t good enough. You were good enough. That’s why you were in the running. It’s that there’s something better suited for you out there. If you keep getting rejected on your quest to find it, you know it’s okay, because, well, you’re just like everyone else. You’re an average person up against a bunch of average people. You’ll find what you need eventually, as long as you don’t give up.
- It’s okay to do things we love even if we know we’re pretty unimpressive at them.
This one is a case-by-case situation. Like, you probably shouldn’t be a surgeon if you’re not great at performing surgery, but I feel like things like that should be self-explanatory to ordinary people. This is more if you enjoy something like writing, you should fucking write and keep at your passion so you can get better at it. If you love trying to start companies, you should keep inventing shit, even if your big ideas go nowhere. You should never let fear of not being good at it keep you from trying a new profession or learning a new skill at work. Embrace your average-ness and stop expecting everything to be easy and perfect. You can’t become good at something without working at it, after all.
- We should always be honest about our value.
You don’t have to be super impressive to ask for more at work. You just have to be good enough at what you do, and know that while you know stuff, there is always more for you to learn. There is always more for everyone to learn. No one knows everything. Not even the people who seem like they do. Especially the people who seem like they do. If you can own your mediocrity and be humble, while remaining eager to work hard and learn, it will take you far, no exceptionalism needed.
- Nothing is more important than being happy with what we have.
While we commoners aren’t landing on any prestigious lists of accomplished humans or winning awards for being exemplary employees, we are still accomplishing things in our own right. The pure act of being offered a job is a feat in itself. Whether it’s a promotion or a simple “thank you” note from a manager for something random, take all of it in stride. Just because you celebrate the small shit doesn’t mean you have to forego your greater goals. Average people should always remain ambitious. It’s what keeps us going. We just can’t forget to applaud all of our average (and awesome!) accomplishments along the way.
CONCLUSION It’s Okay to Do It Your Way
Average is literally different for everyone, meaning all of this shit is yours to define, anyway.
BEING AVERAGE MEANS you’re common. You’re like everyone else. But everyone is different. So, doesn’t that mean that being average is also being different? And, if so, doesn’t that make your own average, whatever it may be, unique?
The answer: yes.
Taylor Swift’s average is different than yours. Beyoncé’s average is different than yours too. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Taylor Swift’s and Beyoncé’s ideas of average are different from one another, too.
No matter who you are, your idea of average is based on your own perceptions of yourself against the world. But not everything is as it seems. And not everything will appear the same to everyone else. That’s why you need to only consider yourself when defining average, because, after all, it’s yours to establish.
Your average should be the norm. It should be the happy medium you strive for every day between wild success and minimal achievements. It should include achievements, but leave the big ones out for you to work toward. It should never be perceived as not good enough, because it is good enough. You are good enough. The next time your mind tries to tell you otherwise, remind yourself of that.