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10 Lies to Stop Telling Yourself About Your Career

10 Lies to Stop Telling Yourself About Your Career

Forty years ago, when you got a job, you had a career. The turnover was a fraction of what it is today. Today, moving from one career to another is commonplace. It’s normal for an average worker to change jobs and/or careers multiple times within a ten-year time period.

Even with these statistics, many people still end up settling with average, uninspiring jobs and tend to forget that they actually don’t like them. Maybe they’re afraid of not finding another job or that they will never do better than what they have now.

There are many reasons why you might choose to stay in a career that you don’t enjoy. Fear, lack of confidence, or willingness to accept the status quo are all reasons you might stay in an unfulfilling job.

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The problem is that you may be lying to yourself and are wasting precious time that could be spent doing more meaningful work. Here are 10 lies you should stop telling yourself about your career:

1. “I will only stay for another year.”

We all have said this at some point and many times that year turns into 5 or 10. Don’t put off the inevitable. If you know it’s not the right career, make that change now!

2. “I went to college for this.”

Just because you got your degree in English Literature doesn’t mean you should suffer through a boring and meaningless career. There is no reason that you can’t go out and become a project manager, freelance photographer, or healthcare administrator if that’s your true passion. The fact is that more than 70% of people in the workforce don’t work in a field related to their college degree.

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3. “There are no jobs out there.”

This statement is ridiculous. Yes, unemployment is just below 7% in the U.S. right now, but there are jobs available everywhere. If you can’t find a job, you simply aren’t looking hard enough. A company will always make room for high-quality people who know how to sell themselves. If you truly believe you will be a valuable asset to another company, you can find work. Period.

4. “The pay is too good to leave.”

This is a very dangerous trap to believe in. Once you become used to making a certain level of income, your lifestyle expenses seem to follow, which makes it hard to consider a lower paying career. Remember, money is just paper. You cannot put a value on your life experiences and you will never get time back. Do something you love; it’s a far greater investment.

5. “I don’t know how to start over.”

While this is a valid concern, many people get so caught up in the fear of not finding another similar job that they do nothing. Being burned out in a dead-end career will slowly drain the energy and passion from you. Starting on a new career path, regardless of your age, may be exactly what you need.

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6. “My company needs me too much.”

Even if you work as the sole employee in your company, you can be replaced. It doesn’t matter how specialized your knowledge or how integral you think you are, you can be replaced. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for wanting to leave a career you don’t enjoy simply because you think your company will fail if you do.

7. “I’m not too unhappy.”

This lie is a dream-killer. Millions of people tell themselves that “everyone hates their jobs” or “there are worse careers.” Do not let yourself fall victim to this lie! We will spend upwards of 90,000 hours of our lives working and it should be doing something we are passionate about! Sure, everyone dislikes their jobs at some point, but if it becomes an everyday occurrence, consider a change.

8. “I’m too old to start a new career.”

Your age is just a number and you get one shot at this life. Staying in a career because of you think you’re too old to start fresh is foolish. As long as you’re willing to learn and get out of your comfort zone, there is no “too old.”

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9. “I’ve put too much time into my career.”

Unless you are at risk of losing stock options or a significant pension, the time you have spent in your career should not be a limiting factor in leaving for a new path. Most companies use defined contribution plans now (401k) that can be rolled over into new plans or IRA’s if you leave. There’s an old proverb, “don’t throw good money after bad.” The same holds true for your years.

10. “I don’t know how to do anything else.”

This is another common lie people tell themselves. What this really means is, “I’m not willing to get out of my comfort zone and learn new skills.” Even if you feel as though you have no other marketable skills, you most certainly do. And these can all be honed by a little education. Learning is something you should be doing on a continual basis regardless, so why not use it to your advantage?

Just remember, you will spend between 40 and 45 years of your life working a job. Do not allow yourself to fall victim to these lies, which can rob you of your precious time. Instead, try to honestly assess your happiness in your current career and if you need a change, don’t wait. Do it now!

Featured photo credit: tanea hynes via flickr.com

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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