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How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

Life has a habit of not always working out how we imagined it would. In an ever-evolving technological and economic world, the types of careers we can pursue are far and wide. If we haven’t been one of the lucky ones and figured out our exact career path, or maybe pursued one vocation but realised it’s not really for us, we can be left feeling lost to how we want our careers to look or even what we really want to be doing.

The Problems We Face When It Comes to Choosing the Right Career

Our economics are constantly changing which means the types of jobs and careers are being shaped accordingly. This can lead us feeling like the job we had no longer fulfills us or is heading in a direction we’re not comfortable with.

But we are also changing too. The change and growth within ourselves isn’t always something we contemplate when thinking about careers when we’re younger. We can also be pressured by loved ones to choose the sensible and lucrative career even if it doesn’t make us happy. We may be driven by money but gradually realise money isn’t what makes us happy but rather the passion behind the job you do.

Because of this we can get to a point in life where we want a change but aren’t able to figure out what we really want to do and what will really make us truly happy.

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Why Choosing the Right Career is Important

Strip it all back and what we really want from a career is the feeling of fulfillment, contentment, accomplishment, passion, and a sense of contribution. Considering we spend a big chunk of our waking lives at work, to be happy in life we need to consider the happiness that our careers give us.

When we’re focused too much on the money and not enough on how we feel getting up every morning and going to work, our jobs and careers can start to make us question what this is really all for. Choosing the right career path will bring both abundance and happiness but we must get out of the limited mindset that we must stick to what we’ve already chosen. Or that it’s too late in life to change careers, we’re not qualified, there aren’t enough jobs, not enough lucrative opportunities – the list goes on.

How to Go About Finding the Right Career Path for You

So, you’re considering a new career or you’re just starting out on your career journey – where do you start? Don’t despair if you feel utterly lost, there are positive steps you can take in order to get some ideas flowing and the ball rolling.

Think About What Energises and Excites You

We often forget that choosing a career that we’re passionate about or incorporating the things that excite us is an option. One of the biggest indicators that we’re on the wrong career path is when we don’t enjoy talking about it let alone turn up to do the job.

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Finding a career that you’re passionate about is what will maintain it long term. If you’re just focused on earnings then you’re more likely to become unhappy and unfulfilled much more quickly.

Think About What You’re Good At

Having a think about not only what you enjoy, but what you’re good at can really help in identifying what would make a good career choice. Are you good with people? Do you give good advice? Are you articulate? Do you have a talent for writing? Are you good with animals? Try to think of as many skills that you feel you’re good at and if you’re struggling then ask a good friend or colleague to tell you – sometimes other people are better at seeing us than we are.

A good tip is to identify the skills you use when you’re doing what you enjoy. No matter how insignificant you feel it is, don’t worry just write it down.

Think About a Field of Work Not a Specific Job

One stumbling block can be being too job-specific when considering a possible career. Once we do this we can get easily discouraged and limited in our thinking. Think about the field of work rather than specifics – for example, if you love helping and being around animals then a veterinarian job may be an idea but there are lots of other options such as becoming a professional dog walker.

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The idea is to think outside the box – skills for one job may suit another kind of job – like a teacher’s skill at explaining convoluted topics and using language well to convey the message may make a good writer.

Research the Possible Qualifications Needed

You may have a list of possibilities so now it’s time to research what you would need to know or what qualifications you may need in order to achieve your dream job. Perhaps you’re considering setting up your own business so looking into business classes could help or maybe you need to go back to school and get a degree. Find the different steps you need to take and don’t feel deterred.

Get to Know People in That Field

Consider networking. Ask around your friends and family to see if they know anyone in a similar field you could chat with. Find online forums or groups that discuss the field of work you’re interested in. By talking to others you will get more of a feel of the work and even advice on how to get started.

Evaluate Your Findings

Once you’ve done some research make sure you take stock and evaluate what you’ve found out. Does this career fit in with the lifestyle you want? Consider the information you’ve gathered and work through pros and cons. Does it still excite you? Do you feel passionate about it? Will it involve compromise you’re willing to take or is it too much compromise?

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It’s always important to check in with yourself.

Sign Up for Training and Experience

A good option is to look around for volunteering opportunities or internships in order to get experience or see if it’s really for you. You have nothing to lose, rather you’re gaining more insight into what you do and don’t want to pursue. It can also eliminate any unneeded areas of study or training elsewhere or help you understand what skills you do need to develop.

Once you’re positive and excited for your new career adventure then signing up for gaining the necessary qualifications is the next step. Remember to keep focusing on each step rather than the long term in order to keep any doubts or overwhelming feelings at bay.

Keep a Positive Mindset and Don’t Give Up

Our mind is powerful and can determine whether we give up or succeed. Keeping on your path requires a positive mindset – it’s going to feel daunting and a great leap of faith to change your career but by believing and following your passions, inspirations and happiness, you will allow yourself to realise your potential to be happy in your work life. Don’t let others deter you with their limited thinking or opinions – keep on your path with your happiness in mind and see where it takes you.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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3. Still No Action

More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

4. Flicker of Hope Left

You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

5. Fading Quickly

Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

6. Vow to Yourself

Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

2. Plan

Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

3. Resistance

Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

4. Confront Those Feelings

Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

5. Put Results Before Comfort

You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

6. Repeat

Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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Final Thoughts

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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