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Pick Your Job Based On What You Love To Do, Not How Much You Have Invested In.

Pick Your Job Based On What You Love To Do, Not How Much You Have Invested In.

Have you ever continued to pursue something even though it no longer served you? Maybe it’s a degree program or the dead-end job that you refuse to give up. Perhaps you’ve stayed in a relationship for no other reason than the fact that you’ve been committed to it for so long. From time to time, we all justify staying the course by considering the effort we’ve put into our current situation.

Many of us decide to take a job just because it’s a good use of our training. When we invest time and money in getting a degree, we expect that we should use it. Maybe you hate your job, but you can only envision yourself taking similar positions with equal or greater pay and responsibility. You may feel trapped by the decisions you made before, but you don’t have to be.

Whatever you do, do it because you love it.

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    When you are trying to figure out how to decide on a career, it is easy to be influenced by the types of work and training you’ve already undertaken. In general, you get a degree or training in a field that interests you, and this leads you to a job in that field.

    If you should ever decide to leave your job, there’s a high probability that you will look for work in the same field with similar pay and responsibilities. You are less likely to consider whether you still like the work that you do — you feel obligated to continue your career trajectory regardless of how you feel.

    This is how people get stuck doing jobs that they don’t like. Instead of thinking about what would make you the best and happiest version of yourself, you may face temptation to maintain the status quo. Many of us do this because we fear wasting our efforts.[1]

    Others feel that their persistence will eventually be valued, and changing course doesn’t fit well within the story they are creating about themselves or their business.[2] They may willingly take on sunk costs with the belief that their situation will improve.

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    Don’t get sucked in by sunk costs.

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      The sunk cost fallacy is the assumption that you must continue follow a trajectory because you have already put lots of resources into that particular career path or personal endeavor. We can be so loss-averse that we avoid the possibility of greater gains through changing our approach.[3]

      If you are wondering how to decide on a career, and you take a job solely because it makes use of your years of training, then you might be worrying more about sunk costs than your future happiness and success. Refusing to leave a career that is unfulfilling could be a sign that you are caught in the job investment trap, which is a variation of the sunk cost fallacy.[4]

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      Businesses also fall into this pattern of continuing down a failing path just because they already put time and money into initiatives. For example, an entrepreneur might take out a loan to open a second business location. They reason that since business is booming at Location #1, success in Location #2 should be a cinch.

      After about a year, the owner realizes that Location #2 is hemorrhaging money, and the only way to stop the bleeding is to scale back to one store. The numbers don’t lie, but despite the irrefutable evidence, the owner may still have trouble cutting his or her losses. The business owner thinks about the effort, time, and emotion that went into Location #2.

      From an outsider’s perspective, it is easy to see that the business owner in the example or the person stuck in an uninspiring career should try something new. It is harder to let go of sunk costs when we are faced with them ourselves.

      You aren’t a one-trick pony.

      Just because you took a particular course of study in school doesn’t mean that you are bound to that discipline for the rest of your life. When you are figuring out how to decide on a career, ask yourself the following questions:

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      • What are you interested in doing? If you are passionate about your work, then it won’t feel like a burden.
      • What skills do you need to do this job? We often think of our degree or primary training as our default career option, but the default may not be the best choice. If you need to change focus, what transferable skills do you have, and what additional training will you need to be successful?[5]
      • Is there room for growth in this job? Today, the average employee stays with a company for 4.2 years before moving on.[6] What types of skills can you build in your current work? How can you leverage your growth to position you for a fulfilling career?
      • Do you have opportunities to work with different people? Forming meaningful connections with people is one of the best things you can do for yourself professionally. You’ll not only be happier at work, but if you decide to change careers, you will already have a solid professional network. [7]
      • What can this job offer you in 3 years? Consider your expectations for income and authority-level in the next three years. Is this job going to give you what you want? If not, how will taking this position help you work toward your end goal?
      • Can this job help you to become the kind of person you want to be? Being inspired by the work that you do can brighten even the toughest days. Do you feel that your work is meaningful?[8] Does it bring you closer to being the optimal of yourself?

      Know when to hold and when to fold.

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        You can’t recover sunk costs, but you don’t have to perpetuate a cycle of loss. “I’ve already put so much time into this,” isn’t a good enough justification to continue down a particular path.

        Deciding to change directions doesn’t meant that you have failed. It makes zero sense to continue to put resources into something that isn’t working for you. Although you may feel like you have wasted an experience or lost time, remember that you have probably learned some valuable information as you undertook the process. Just because it didn’t go the way you expected doesn’t mean that it’s a total loss.

        Being successful and following your dreams are not mutually exclusive. Use what you know to keep growing, and don’t be discouraged if you have to change course along the way.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Angelina Phebus

        Writer, Yoga Instructor (RYT 200)

        Foods That Can Suppress Appetite And Help With Weight Loss Quality or Quantity? Why Don’t You Sleep On It What it Feels Like To Be The Child of Your Children? Pick Your Job Based On What You Love To Do, Not How Much You Have Invested In. How to Become Successful 10 Times Easier: Don’t Focus on Improving Your Faults

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        Last Updated on February 15, 2019

        How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

        How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

        Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

        If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

        Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

        In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.

        1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps

        We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.

        SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

        Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?

        Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

        Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:

        How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

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        2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life

        It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.

        To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

        Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.

        You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.

        3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion

        Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

        Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

        Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

        Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

        4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action

        If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

        The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.

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        You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

        If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

        5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail

        This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

        When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

        When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

        Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.[1]

        If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

        6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception

        You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.

        You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.

        Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.

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        We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

        7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other

        There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

        When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

        This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.

        8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines

        Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

        Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.

        Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

        In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:

        How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

        9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals

        Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[2] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

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        When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

        It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.

        10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day

        Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

        Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

        Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.

        Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

        The Bottom Line

        Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.

        It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities. Change begins today.

        More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

        Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

        Reference

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