How to Get Conventional Success Unconventionally
By: Beren Sabuncu
The prospect of finding a job is terrifying. It’s a big world out there. Though a book won’t get me a job, it is reassuring to hear, especially in a world where everyone would rather you forget, that you’re not the only one confused.
After reading Jennifer Romolini’s book “Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures” it seems that although similar books try to be quirky and relatable, Romolini’s did not.
It becomes easier to understand why after reading her book.
She has an interesting, tumultuous and unique backstory. Though I don’t want to reiterate and ruin the book for those who might be interested, I will say this, her life has not been easy. She admits to “f*cking up” the first 28 years of her life.
She admits to pretending, dropping out of college to marry her first husband, unhappily working as a waitress, divorcing him at 24, and trying to build her life back up. The book is about not giving up on your life, whatever dreams you might have.
Not only was it refreshing, but also gratifying to read that, half of the time, a successful woman like Romolini doesn’t even know if she is doing the right things. In her book, there are many insightful remarks about the business world.
The business world can be cruel and pretentious. You will feel out of place, and she explains why perfectly, “Because you are weird and will always be weird no matter what level of conventional success you reach. Most people are.”
The phrase “conventional success” struck a chord. Conventional success is the success you’re being told to chase. It is the success you post on social media, and what your parents tell their friends. Conventional success is money; it is power and social commodity. It is one of the primary forces pushing you and I alike.
Jennifer Romolini does not hold back and she is not ashamed of her story. It is commendable, especially in the era of social media. There is nothing wrong with messing up; there is also nothing wrong with not knowing where you’re going.
Romolini’s book is a must-read because of many reasons. Firstly, it is refreshing to read the professional memoir of someone that did not embark in a successful professional career when they were 17. Also, though she enjoys “conventional success,” the only thing she’s chasing is a better version of herself.
Romolini inspired me in a similar way to Amoruso’s “#GirlBoss.” The book reminded me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being the odd one out. Although there is an underlying theme of girl power, I feel as though this book would give everyone something to think about.
No matter what your age is, no matter your stature and no matter what success you reach, it is simply humane to feel lost; we all feel lost sometimes. It is also very easy to give into despair.
People on social media aren’t perfect, they don’t usually display the difficult moments of their life, yet their lives always seem so glamorous.
The nice clothes they wear, the food they eat, and the myriad of accomplishments they seem to have, taunt you as you’re looking at the mellow blue light of your screen, eating ramen noodles in your pajamas.
It is not only “them.” You yourself post the nice outfits and the good nights out on your account. Though you do have those good nights, amazing outfits, and though you do eat out every once in awhile, there are an equal amount of nights when you’re watching “Downton Abbey” and eating carrot sticks in your sweatpants.
We pretend to enjoy the artichoke dip Betsy brought to the work party—seriously, how is it so oily and dry? We pretend to love our bosses—one more sexist joke please. We pretend because it is easier and you don’t care enough not to, because in your opinion your boss doesn’t deserve your honesty or attention. We all pretend.
Though it is the way of the world and we have been doing such a stellar job of pretending, deep down we feel weird about it. It makes you feel as though you don’t fit in, that you have to pretend to.
As Romolini says, “Find your weird.” Find it, and let it shine.