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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 Our idea of the perfect career is sometimes shaped by societal expectations, family expectations and outdated beliefs.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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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

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

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