Anyone can get stuck in a career funk – Matt Damon included.
The Oppenheimer and Bourne Identity star said that he once “fell into a depression” halfway through shooting a movie that wasn’t panning out how he hoped it would when he accepted the gig.
It’s a common conundrum. Recent reports reveal that recruiters and hiring managers may inadvertently over-promise and glamourize job vacancies. Meanwhile, two-thirds of workers say they’ve accepted a job only to realize it was not a good fit, with half of them quitting in the first six months, according to a CareerBuilder survey.
But when tossing the towel in isn’t always possible, Damon offers a tangible solution: Turn to your family for tough love – and if that’s not possible, maybe his wife’s words of wisdom will offer a reality check.
“Without naming any particular movies…sometimes you find yourself in a movie that you know, perhaps, might not be what you had hoped it would be, and you’re still making it,” Damon said during an interview with the YouTube channel Jake’s Takes.
He added that it would be “halfway through production and you’ve still got months to go and you’ve taken your family somewhere and you’ve inconvenienced them, and I remember my wife pulling me up because I fell into a depression about like, what have I done?”
The Oscar-winner credited his wife, Luciana Barroso, with helping him snap out of such moments.
“We’re here now,” she said. Barroso may have been stating the obvious, but for Damon, it was the reminder he needed to crack on with his job and follow the film through to completion.
“What being a professional actor means is you go and you do the 15-hour day and give it absolutely everything, even in what you know is going to be a losing effort,” Damon added. “And if you can do that with the best possible attitude then you’re a pro and she really helped me with that.”
Although few will relate to having doubts in the midst of filming a multi-million dollar blockbuster movie, many will have experienced cold feet after relocating, career pivoting or signing onto a fixed-term contract.
In those moments of uncertainty, Barroso’s wake up-call may be the tough love needed to take stock that you’re already in your new job, so you may as well ride it out for a little longer and re-evaluate how you feel before making any knee-jerk reactions which could damage your credibility in your field.