For most people recently out of school a common question that often arises is whether or not the career path they chose was right for them. It’s a difficult question to ask and even a harder one to answer at that, but more often than not most people decide that their first job is not for them. This life changing decision is then met with (1) the overwhelming desire for change immediately followed by action, or (2) swept under the carpet and pushed into obscurity resulting in the individual following through with their initial choice. But what are the real things that we have to think about and consider before we make any drastic decisions? Here are some factors to consider when you’re at the crossroads.
The grass is always greener
As with anything else, the grass is always greener when looking at other careers. There’s a huge menu of things people can point to including compensation, work-life balance, career prospects or compatibility with coworkers. However, when you’re drawn into a corner and feeling down it’s so easy to mistake something else as more favorable when in fact it’s only relative to what you’re facing at any specific time. Reach out and talk to people in the field(s) that you’re looking into. Take time to be objective in the pros and cons when looking at other careers.
I’m really good at my job
It’s easy to mistake being good at a job with having a job that’s too easy for you. As with any occupation, there’s a lot of muscle memory involved and often times when a job becomes easier, it’s easy to confuse skill with being too easy. Every career and job has the possibility of turning into this so don’t underestimate your own prowess.
Work to live, don’t live to work
We all work to see the product of our toils, but in reality we’re working to live not living to work. Sure you’ve heard the saying , “I wish I had a job that I could live for” before. Big mistake. It’s awesome to love your career, but don’t mistake that work is the equivalent of your life. Easy to happen when you love your career and are putting in long and hard hours, but it’s important to find the balance and sometimes call a spade a spade.
Your skills maybe perfect for the career you chose
This is related to pride, emotion and personal dignity, but the hard truth of the matter is that not everyone is good at everything. Your skillset may be perfect for the career path you have chosen and that’s not something to take lightly (do you mean lightly?). This is not to say that you can’t pick up additional skills along the way, but you may be built for your job. Why not succeed there?
People change their careers 3-5 times in average during their lifetime. While your passion in something should be a driving force when it comes to a career change, it’s also important to remember to take a step back and look at things objectively.
Sang Lee is the CEO of Return on Change, an equity crowdfunding helping high impact startups that are bent on changing the world. He’s looking to change the world one big thinker at a time and he shares his thoughts @rocspeaks.
Category: Career Change