Our career journeys differ, based on multiple things; our upbringing backgrounds, access to resources and opportunities, who is in our network, our abilities, luck by design, etc. Many people are trying to figure out what career path best suits their needs, values, and interests, and along this never-ending self-discovery journey, there are a couple of traps to be avoided, lest one finds themselves in a situation where they dug themselves into a hole. We highlight three traps to avoid below.
1. Comparing yourself to others – Ever caught yourself comparing where you are in your career journey to someone else (seemingly more successful), consequently setting career goals that are influenced by this person? They seem to make more money so you set a goal for yourself that you want to make that amount in X period of time? We understand that it can be frustrating to feel like you’re giving it your all and yet, you don’t seem to be advancing in your career as much as the next person. However, it’s important to introspect on what your markers of success are. Is it just money? What about things like a good working environment? Effective communication? Good leadership that also displays empathy? Having ownership of your work and not micromanagement? These are critical elements that can not only make you enjoy what you do and thus motivate you to succeed but also feed into your overall wellbeing. The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else, ask yourself; what is making me feel like this? Are my needs being met? If not, what can I do to change this situation? And set goals that are aligned to what YOU value as success.
2. Believing there’s only one career path for you – Many people believe that there is only one career path for them and that they must therefore perfect their skills and be an expert in their field. And while this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can prevent one from exploring their other interests and discovering new paths they can take on. What if you can be the jack of all trades? You’re allowed to excel in multiple things at the same time. Furthermore, with the world of work constantly changing; certain skills becoming redundant and new ones being needed, why would you want to stick to one thing? 🙂 Don’t get caught unprepared because you failed to explore other skills and interests. Our co-founder Martha wrote about how you can achieve career success by being the jack of all trades, read the article here.
3. Refusing to get out of your comfort zone – “Why would I want to switch careers? It’s such a long process and this is working for me right now”. Ever found yourself uttering these words or thinking this? You’ve considered transitioning into a different career but are afraid it’s going to be an arduous process that may not pay off? This is a valid fear to have, however, choosing not to do anything about your desires can have far more reaching consequences than taking the risk to do something about it. Making a career transition doesn’t have to be a one-man journey process, in fact, it’s one that requires you to seek out a support system, outside of that you’ve already established with your family and friends. It requires that you network outside of your current career field, that you potentially reach out to a career coach that will help you strategize on how to make this career transition, that you potentially offer to volunteer in another organization that’ll provide you with the skills you need to make a successful transition, etc. How will you get out of your comfort zone today and take a step towards achieving a fulfilling career?
Wondering if you’re stuck in a career rut? Here are 5 signs you might be. Looking to make a career transition? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and join a community of like-minded happy career seekers!