The idea of starting over gets a bad rap. Most people attach the idea of starting over with negative thoughts. Despite popular belief, starting over can be a good thing.

A few weeks ago, through casual conversion, I became painfully aware that my boss of six months was a whole year younger than me AND already attained a promotion. After I freaked out silently in my cubicle for a moment, I had a revelation. Up until that very day, every decision I had ever made brought me closer to the career I wanted. At the time, my role within the organization was as a freelancer/intern. Despite the lowly job title, I was given a lot of responsibility and was learning so much about website development, email marketing, content strategies, etc. Everything that I learned has helped me build this blog and will help me in the future when I take my talents elsewhere (South Beach, maybe?).

In the past, success could be achieved in a liner fashion. Work for one company for 20+ years. Start at the bottom, pay your dues and work your way up through the ranks. Not Anymore. Every organization, from Fortune 500 companies to mom-n-pop shops across the country has zero guarantees that they’ll be around five years from now. Thus, the proverbial ladder of success, which requires a 20 year minimum, does no one any good.

Every failure is a lesson learned. Some of us have learned more lessons over the years than others, but hey, at least you’re learning, right? Instead, view success as one of those dome jungle gyms you used to have in the school playground. Sometimes you have to go back a rung, in order to go forward. Remember, how there was always more than one way to get to the top?

Sometimes you have to back a rung in life. Sometimes you’ll have to be an intern again or give up the first office in the hall to get closer to the corner office. When you chose a career that is truly your passion, starting over will not be looked at as time wasted. Starting over is another opportunity to learn.  When you’re passionate about something, all you really want to do is learn more about it. If the idea of starting over is painful to think about, maybe it’s because the career you thought you enjoyed, is actually just a job in disguise.

Don’t let the fear of starting over stop you in your tracks. If you’re not moving forward, you’re going to get trampled over. I don’t define my success by my job title. Someday, I hope to get lost in my work and perfectly okay with watching the sun set from my desk.