What to do When Your Career Isn’t What You Expected

What to do When Your Career Isn’t What You Expected

626 417 Artur Meyster

Today’s generation grew up not only with constant and fast changes but with a desire for it. Millennials desire constant newness and are always looking for the next best thing. These traits are shown in their professional lives, which means that they constantly change job positions and even career paths.

The days where people stay over 10 or 20 years with the same company are in the past, and only a few still do it. Now, deciding to change careers to entirely different industries, even in your forties or fifties, is becoming standard.

So, don’t be afraid if you are finding your career of choice isn’t what you always dream of. People change with time, and this means new tastes and life goals. But here is what you can do if you think your career isn’t what you expected.

Give it time

First and foremost, you shouldn’t decide that your career isn’t what you expected after your first job or the first few months in the industry. If you are newly-graduated and are starting in the market, then you should give it some time. Sometimes your reluctance to something can be caused by fear. Besides, let’s face it, starting a new job without any previous real-life experience can be really scary.

It is widespread, not only for new graduates but for many other professionals. It’s called the Impostor Syndrome, and it describes the feeling many people have that their abilities aren’t enough to do their job. This lack of confidence in their skills causes them to have lower performance and not show their real potential at work.

Source: Freepik

Try Different Positions 

Many times the source of unhappiness can be the job position instead of the career choice. Before deciding to change careers, you should try different jobs with different companies and test out the industry. It could be that you find your current responsibilities boring and that they aren’t a real challenge to your skills.

Your current job’s lack of interest could also result from your values not aligning with the company’s values and goals. It can even be a lack of teamwork and collaboration in the office. So start thinking of applying to new jobs, and if after two or three jobs you realize you still hate it, then maybe it is worth revisiting the issue.

Analyze Your Emotions

One of the vital parts of making decisions is knowing yourself and your emotions. Deciding to change careers is a life-changing decision, and so it should be made with a clear mind. For this reason, you should analyze in-depth how you feel and why you think you don’t like your current career choice.

The main thing you should identify is what your passion is, what is the activity or hobby in your life that gives you more happiness, or makes your heart feel full. If this aligns with what you do at your job, then maybe your career isn’t the problem.

On the contrary, if your passion is currently a hobby for you, then maybe start researching how you can fashion a career or business from that.

Pinpoint What You Hate

Like when making any other decision, a good strategy is to make a list of pros and cons. You can make a list of the things you hate and love about your career in this case. The secret is that the thing you love, you feel passionate enough about that you can stand the things you hate about it. 

So, make a list and analyze if you can stand the things you hate because the pros outweigh the cons. For example, a computer system analyst may stay in a high paying job, even when they hate it because they need the money. But if this isn’t your case, then definitely consider changing careers to something that makes you happy. 

Be Realistic

Nothing in life is perfect; even the people who work on their dream job have days to hate their jobs. That’s why you should be realistic when deciding to change your career, and don’t decide on a whim because someone mistreats you that day or your boss yells at you once. 

This decision is something that will probably change your life, but it should be for the better. Bad days at work can be for different reasons, and sometimes they are personal issues instead of work-related ones. Make sure you are being realistic and decide because you actually hate your current career. 

Identify Your Strengths

Now, if you already know you sincerely don’t like your current career and are changing paths, then you should start by identifying your strengths. If you know which personality traits are stronger and which skills you are best at, you will choose which careers align better with them. 

You can also know which skills you already have that can be transferred to your new career and which ones you lack. During this transition, you can dedicate a few months to learn the new skills you will need. You can find many resources like online courses or coding bootcamps to give you a professional certification in a few months.  

Source: Unsplash

Explore Other Career Paths

After the steps above, you should know everything about yourself to choose a new career. Start researching the Internet for a job that not only matches your strengths and skills, but it has a salary good enough to maintain your lifestyle if that is an essential point for you. 

One of the industries many people are changing to is the tech industry, mainly because of its great benefits, high salaries, and nontraditional working environment. And you don’t have to choose a highly technical career to enter it; maybe a career path like SEO expert or product management will match your skills. 

In Summary

Changing careers is a life-changing decision, and like so, you shouldn’t make it lightly. It would be best to analyze what you feel and the source of your dislike for your career. Be realistic when making the decision, and pinpoint what you hate. Don’t be afraid to make the change and use online resources to research which career will best suit your strengths and skills.

Artur Meyster

Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.

All stories by:Artur Meyster
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Artur Meyster

Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.

All stories by:Artur Meyster

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