Did I Chose the Wrong Career? The 7 Telltale Signs in a Short Quiz
I think I chose the wrong career, but how do I know for sure? Here are 7 signs to help you figure this out:
1. I Chose the College, Not the Career Path. The problem usually starts before you realize that you’re heading down the wrong career path. The craze with getting into a good college trumps all else when we’re teens, most of us are not thinking far enough ahead to worry about whether making good career decisions. We’re usually more focused on status and job prospects, not whether we’re actually cut out for the career we choose. Although the question of what college to attend is important, it often over shadows a more critical question—what career paths fit who I am?
2. I Wanted to Please My Parents. Young people are caught in a riddle wrapped inside an enigma. Everyone is encouraging them to focus their energy on getting into the best colleges and best companies, but no one is helping them decide what the f@#k they want to be when they grow up. One of the most common reasons people land in the wrong career is to make their parents and friends proud. They probably are proud, but unfortunately that won’t make you feel alive inside or any happier.
3. I Didn’t Do Enough Research. If your college major was more or less a random or untested choice, that’s a big clue to the source of your problem. Studies show that about 75 percent of college grads picked the wrong major to study. Once you get that degree, you’ve signaled to the world that “I am this.” So, your college major is by default your career choice. The problem is, you didn’t really do the hard work required to choose it. Most mid-career people tell me, “I fell into my career . . . I followed something I ‘thought’ I was interested in until I saw it up close. It all seemed like a good idea at the time, but I was just a kid, I didn’t really know what I liked or what I was good at.”
4. I’ve been Waiting For Things to “Work Out Later.” Four years of college go by fast, suddenly you wake up with reality hitting you in the face at 1000 mph. Finding your bearings in the midst of the chaos isn’t easy; but don’t freak out, it gets much easier to navigate the career terrain after you’ve dragged yourself to a job you hate for a few years. The more miserable you are now, the better. Why? Most people need to feel a lot of pain to get out of their comfort zone and make changes, other wise, they keep waiting and hoping for things to “work out later.”
5. I Was More Concerned with Looking Good. For many recent college grads, finding a mate often takes precedence. Again, this is not about being right or wrong. Mother Nature is just doing her job and she wants you to look as sexy and as high status as possible. That’s why hooking up in our 20s often trumps getting on the right career track, it’s a fun distraction for sure. Typically, most 20-somethings will intentionally endure a career mismatch until they hit about 30 years old. I get a lot of 28 year olds worried that 30 is just around the corner, and “I still haven’t figured out what to be when I grow up!”
6. I Feel Like I’m Faking It. After 10 years on the job, people declaring they chose the wrong career path is abysmally high, barely 1 in 10 really like what they do. This sounds hard to believe, but sadly, it is the state of things. Check out Gallup’s studies on this matter, there’s scientific proof that most people are royally screwing up their career choices. Worldwide, only 13% of people say they feel “engaged” with their work, their natural potential is sitting idle. If your gut hunch is telling you that you chose the wrong career, the high statistical base rates on career mismatch predict that you’re instincts are probably right. The sooner you deal with the pain of a mismatch or wrong career decision, the faster and easier it is to redirect.
7. I’m Nothing Like the People I Work With. If you were in the right field, things will click and you’ll start getting helping hands from mentors. But, if you’re not in your element or faking an interest in what you’re doing, your career will feel like it’s not going anywhere.
If you gave 4 or more “yes” replies, you’re in the wrong career.
Now for the good news. You can face the dragon and fix the problem. Grab your sword and let’s get going on your career quest to do some slaying . . .
Read part 2 to learn more . . .by