What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Sheryl Sandberg
According to a joint survey conducted by Citi and LinkedIn, the average woman will have eight(yes, you read that right) different types of jobs over the course of her career.
So, clearly none of us are alone when we feel we are not where we should be, career-wise. The question is, what makes it seem so terrible? Why do we beat ourselves up for wasting time and making another mistake?
Well, for us ladies, it seems like being driven and a perfectionist go hand-in-hand. In fact, sometimes we are so hard on ourselves (and each other) that we interpret potential learning opportunities as dire missteps, simply because life didn’t go exactly as we planned. Big error.
So, let’s take a deep breath, look at the bigger picture, and see why choosing the wrong career can be the best mistake you’ll ever make, since it may bring home to you exactly what needs to be fixed in your professional life.
The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity. Amelia Earhart
- Improve Your Health
Now, it’s all a matter of degrees (because which one of us isn’t more tired than they should be?), but do you always feel exhausted and worn-out? We all (unfortunately) know the adage that the only reward for good work is more work. Some employers and professions place more demands and heavier work loads than we can personally carry, and our bodies will let us know, in one way or another.
Whether it’s the form of exhaustion that no cup of coffee will fix or the lingering head and muscle aches, it’s important to pay attention to these physical signs. Additionally, a lack of purpose and no incentive/opportunities for growth are damaging to our mental health and happiness. Instead, take these warning signs as a welcome sign from above, and start pursuing the career that will be the right fit.
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. Michael Jordan
- Get Paid More
Even though it’s no longer always the case, the sentiment remains that employee loyalty is rewarded. The recessions have provided cover for companies to take cost-saving measures, like pay freezes and distributing lower percentage raises.
Forbes columnist Cameron Keng writes in his article, Employees Who Stay in Companies Longer than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less: In 2014, the average employee is going to earn less than a 1% raise the average raise an employee receives for leaving is between a 10% to 20% increase in salary. If you’re strategic, you can negotiate great pay increases as you navigate to a job field that you will also love.
It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career. Carlton Fisk
- Find Your Calling by Process of Elimination
From the time we’re little, we are constantly asked what we want to be when we grow up. Adults typically told us we could be whatever we wanted to be and said dream big Has anyone actually stopped to think about how overwhelming that actually is? When you can literally choose from an infinite number of careers, how do you choose?
Well, I’ll tell you one thing: I’m never going to play in the NFL! We need to be more realistic about our abilities and our passions. We also need to be okay with the fact that sometimes you have to try a job to realize it’s NOT what you want to do. If we don’t, we’ll likely miss our true calling.
Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. Bill Cosby
When I graduated from college with a freshly-minted degree in political science and a job working for a congresswoman in DC, I was ecstatic that I got the job I’d dreamed about so soon. Then, I got there and realized, uh-oh, this isn’t what I want to do. (The Oscar Wilde quote about although you enjoy sausage, you don’t want to see how it’s made, definitely comes to mind!)
As a type-A, driven individual, coming to terms with the fact that I was that typical twentysomething who had no clue what they wanted to do was hard! However, thanks to the courage to pursue more than one other career path, I am now in a job I love, where I’m challenged, and where I feel rewarded. Choosing the wrong career ended up being the best mistake I ever made.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. Steve Jobs