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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 Our idea of the perfect career is sometimes shaped by societal expectations, family expectations and outdated beliefs.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

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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