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Successful People Find Their Ideal Career Paths Because They Don’t Have These 5 Thoughts

Successful People Find Their Ideal Career Paths Because They Don’t Have These 5 Thoughts

Finding your career path is one of the most important choices you’ll make in your life. Since your job will take up most of your waking life, it’s essential that you take a path that ultimately brings you happiness and fulfilment.

But this can also create a sense of pressure and make the decision on your career path a more complicated one than it should be. Our idea of the perfect career is sometimes shaped by societal expectations, family expectations and outdated beliefs.

Why Can We Have So Much Difficulty Choosing a Career Path?

It’s because of these ideas that we often come to the wrong conclusions when picking a career. In today’s society of fast-paced business and developing technology, more than ever before we’re made to feel that our choice of job must be made with all this in mind.

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But we’re also taught to be competitive, precise and clear about where we want to be heading in terms of our career which creates the feeling of failure if this isn’t the case. It’s deemed hard to change your mind down the line if you find your chosen career isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. All these beliefs create a mindset that can make it difficult for us to choose wisely.

The 5 Common Mistakes We Make When Choosing Our Career

So how can we help ourselves when making this decision? Here are 5 common beliefs that cross our mind when we think about our choice of job and why they don’t serve us.

1. “If I Can’t Have the Best, I Don’t Want Anything at All.”

It’s good to aim high but sometimes this can be detrimental to our ultimate decision because we are creating a limited mindset to our potential. When we obsess about a particular job title we blind ourselves to equally fulfilling careers and jobs with similar skills. If you dream of becoming a successful writer because you feel you have a talent for words and explaining important subjects, then you could also enter an equally satisfying career in teaching. It’s always better to focus on the underlying skill set and possible fields instead of obsessing on a particular job title.

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Another downside to wanting the ‘best’ is we can dismiss the negative sides to a career and only realise these once we get deeper into pursuing a particular job. It’s always important to keep an open mind and be aware of what your career path entails.

2. “I’m Supposed to Have a Career Path by a Certain Age.”

This is a particular problem amongst the young and can carry on as we reach our 30s and 40s. The result of this is that we are often pressured to pick a career at too young an age forgetting that we are constantly changing and evolving as a person. How we feel at 20 won’t be the same as how we feel when we’re 30 or even 25.

It’s also been a societal belief that changing careers is hard and the older we get, the harder this becomes. But many people have successfully made big career changes later in life[1] and actually become more satisfied and happier because their career evolves as they are evolving as people. So don’t be worried if you feel the choice you made isn’t suiting you any more, age shouldn’t be seen as a restriction when striving for your next career.

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3. “I Should Choose a Career Path Based on the Certificate I Get.”

There’s a term used in business called sunk cost which refers to a cost that can’t be changed. In terms of our education, we tend to think of our college and university degrees as something we need to pursue into our careers. We feel that the investment we’ve made in obtaining a particular certificate needs to be continued.

However, this mindset constricts us into sticking with a certain career that we may not be completely happy with. Don’t think of your education as a waste if you don’t pursue that certain path – think of it as gaining many different skills and allowing you to rule out something you won’t be happy doing. Nothing is a waste but just another stage in your development.

4. “I Should Take My Interest or Hobby into Consideration When Choosing My Career.”

It’s said quite a lot that in finding a job we love, we should follow our passions, interests and hobbies. While this can be taken into consideration, there shouldn’t be pressure to do this especially if you’re driven by earning enough money to cover your living expenses or paying off debts. Sometimes career paths can come at a stage in our lives when we have different priorities but always remember that once you’re at a more stable stage in your life, you can consider something connected with your passions and interests. Alternatively, you can always develop your interests on the side to keep your life more balanced.

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5. “If I Don’t Make More Money Than My Peers, I’ll Consider Myself a Failure in Life.”

Comparison is a dangerous game. Seeing our careers as a competition and using other people’s success as a measure of our own is a toxic mindset to develop. We must always remember that we’re all on different paths and developing in different directions both personally and professionally.

Our ever-changing, modern world means that it can be hard to predict which careers will bring prosperity in the future over others. For example, the boom in technology meant these sorts of skills were in high demand but the threat of automation in many jobs means this won’t be the case very soon. Instead, according to Mark Cuban, the billionaire software developer and owner of the Dallas Mavericks predicts creative thinking will be more in demand in the next ten years. This shows comparison is futile because what is considered desirable now may not be in the future. So be content with your own decisions and path in life.

Choosing our career path is not always black and white. Don’t put pressure on yourself or restrict your thinking with limitations. Be open to the idea that your calling will change throughout your life and different possibilities are always there for you to pursue. Your aim is ultimately to be happy and find a career that bring fulfilment and satisfaction.

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on June 17, 2019

Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

How do you usually go about your day?

Do you wake up in the morning, get ready for work, and then spend the whole day looking forward to being at home and unwinding?

We often hear about work life balance – having a good balance between work and personal time. Whilst this may sound like a smart idea, it can also imply that we should dedicate at least half of our time to work–and sacrifice time for our “personal life”.

To me, that seems… off balance. Because, the truth is, it’s nearly impossible to split your time equally between the two. And, you may end up stressing out if you’re not able to meet that expectation of balance.

Instead, why not think of having work life harmony instead?

With this mindset, you can actually integrate work into your life in a way that feels more complete. This way, you don’t need to view work and having personal time as separate.

So, how do you achieve work life harmony?

Work Life Harmony Explained

The difference between work life balance and work life harmony is pretty simple. With the former, there is an implication that you have to sacrifice your “life” for work. But, this is the worst way to go about things! How can you truly be at peace in life if you dread 8 hours of your day?

Work life harmony on the other hand, allows your work to be a part of your life. This means that you can choose to be happy both at home, and at work! Work no longer needs to be seen as the ‘bad’ or un-fun activity.

Having work life harmony also ensures you’re truly present in whatever place you find yourself.

Just take a look at Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon for example.

He uses a non traditional approach to work by making time for breakfast every morning with his family, doesn’t set his alarm before going to bed, schedules surprisingly few meetings, and still puts aside a few minutes every day to wash his own dishes.

He believes that all his staff should stop trying to achieve a ‘balance’ in their work and personal lives as that implies a trade off. Instead, he envisions a more holistic relationship between the two.

As the world’s richest man, he must be doing something right!

Rethink Time Management

Now, when we think of striking a balance, we usually associate it with time, don’t we? How much time are we spending at work versus how much time are we spending in our personal lives? Are we taking enough time to be with our loved ones, to do meaningful activities with others or even for ourselves, or are we just dedicating all our time to work?

This is the so-called-balance that many struggle with.

With work life harmony, we learn to rethink time management. By re-assessing how you manage your time, you’ll have a lot more of it. It’s incredible how much time can get wasted over the period of a day–especially when you’re not accurately tracking it.

Unfortunately, unless you’re consciously making an effort, your brain is not always the best at making accurate judgement calls when it comes to prioritizing. It tends to have a bias towards short term benefits and short term costs.

As there are often many more options our brains link to short term benefit; when you’re trying to focus on a task that gives you a long term benefit, that task usually becomes low priority. This is otherwise known as Priority Chaos.

In order to overcome this and be in better control of your time, identify the tasks that need the most focus to get accomplished. If it’s a big task, then it’s good to break it down into smaller bite-sized actions that will provide you with a clearer short term benefit.

When setting up tasks, give yourself a time limit. The brain has a bias towards short term benefits, and your attention span is limited, so if your tasks are going to take ages to complete, you’ll end up losing focus… and wasting time.

Once you have all your tasks written down, it’s time to prioritize them. Since you have a time limit, your focus should be on the top priority tasks. By doing this, you will already be able to get more done in less time at work!

Have Passion for What You Do

Managing your time is important in achieving that work life harmony. But, perhaps of greater importance, is loving what you do in life. One of the most effective ways to achieve a work life harmony is to really enjoy, or find a purpose, in what you do for a living. Even though everyone isn’t always lucky enough to find a position that pays them for pursuing their passion, you can strive to find meaning in what you are already doing, or pursue something new entirely!

For example, say you work at an office that sells paper. While many people wouldn’t consider this a world changing pursuit, I beg to differ. Think of all the individuals in the world that rely on paper. From creative types to quantum physics experts, your role at your workplace brings incredible value to many many people all over the world. You will have, without a doubt, helped bring a new idea into existence. Several new ideas to be precise.

So, think about what you’re doing now. Is it something that allows you to embrace your passion?

Or perhaps you might not even know what it is that you love or enjoy doing. Why not explore and reflect on what gives you joy and contentment? Is there an area or industry that you could see yourself exploring to experience that fulfillment?

Can you find a deeper purpose in what you’re already doing?

When you’re able to find meaning in your work, you’re that much closer to achieving work life harmony.

Don’t Be Intimidated By Obstacles and Limitations

Creating work life harmony is also about understanding yourself–which includes your limitations and past obstacles–as this allows you to become more resilient.

If you never had to experience struggles, challenges or setbacks, then you would never be forced to adapt and mature. So in theory, having to face obstacles in life is actually quite necessary.

Most of us think of setbacks and obstacles as negative. Though, if you’re able to maintain an optimistic attitude, you’ll almost always have a higher chance of success of overcoming those obstacles to reach your eventual goal.

Your attitude towards setbacks will define the outcome of whether you rise from the challenge or remain stuck in it. So, in order to achieve work life harmony, it’s important to have a resilient attitude as challenges will always come your way–especially when you strive to integrate work into your life, and not a separate or dominant part of life.

Delegate When You Need To

Of course, when you want to increase productivity and minimize the time or effort spent, a great way to do so is to delegate!

If you spend a lot of time doing tasks on your own that could be delegated to others (whether at work or at home) you’re losing a lot of precious free time that could otherwise be spent elsewhere.

At the end of the day, we all have a limited amount of time. So we should all be striving to create a harmonious work and living situation where we can find meaning in all that we do.

While an overall goal may be meaningful, not all of the milestones or tasks needed to get there may be meaningful. That’s because we have our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Not every task is going to be enjoyable or easy to complete. That’s where delegation comes in.

Delegation simply allows you to leverage time from an external source, thus giving you opportunities to increase your own quality of time. Keep in mind that delegation should be done with deliberate attention, otherwise you may end up over relying on others.

If you find that you’re running into the problem of over delegating, then it may be time to re-evaluate your motivation for doing whatever it is that you’re doing.

Embrace the Circle and Become Happier and More Productive

Living in harmony is about feeling good about the ways in which you spend your time, despite how busy you may be. Your switch from work mode to a more personal mode should be effortless. It’s about integrating your personal life and the things you love into your busy work life!

It all begins with the shift in perspective. Understanding what your passions are, and learning to be resilient, before taking a different approach to the way you manage your time and everyday tasks.

These are steps that you can start taking to move away from balance to harmony. 

Featured photo credit: Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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