The typical professional will spend one-third of their life working. This means that the odds of regretting a professional decision are high. In fact, one study conducted by Zety of 1,000 professionals found that only 2% had no career regrets. Some of the most common career regrets are:
- Not taking initiative.
- Not taking chances.
- Taking a job for the money.
- Not negotiating a higher salary.
- Not leaving a job you hate.
Whether you identify with the above reasons or have experienced different scenarios, we have all been there. While career regret can be positive in that it provides us with a career wake-up call, we don’t want to stay stuck. We encourage all of our clients to start taking steps as soon as possible to move out of career regret. And while it’s impossible to always avoid small regrets, you can minimize career regret, especially when making big decisions. We want to share one important step with you.
Align your professional goals with what is fulfilling to you. We have all our clients start with fulfillment first, and this enables them to get closer to their long-term happiness and goals as well. Now, this doesn’t mean throw caution to the wind and taking a job that doesn’t pay your bills. But, if you start with career moves that would be truly fulfilling to you, and adjust them to compromise if you need to, you’ll get results that are better than you would have otherwise. Many times this is as simple as making adjustments in your current job and aligning your goals correctly going forward. Other times more drastic changes are needed, such as a career transition. There are two main components of fulfillment that are important to consider:
Your heart: However you, not others, define fulfillment is what’s important when thinking about this component. A great question to ask yourself regularly is, “How do I define success?” Jot down your answer to that question and put it somewhere visible.
Your head: It’s important to analyze priorities such as compensation, life balance, and other things you need to take care of yourself and your family practically. Then determine how your career needs to support those things. You have to balance these two components to be successful.
Once you have identified those components, consider your career goals. Are your goals aligned with your values and priorities? (If you need help putting together your strategic career plan, download our free document here.)
We recommend the following action tips:
- Identify your values. Think about a peak experience in your life or think about things you must have to gain a sense of enjoyment. Work with a friend over the next week to determine 5 values
- Identify practical considerations. Consider what you need to do to take care of yourself from a practical perspective in areas such as compensation, health, and physical environment.
- Develop or revise your list of goals based on your values, then consider how your current or next career can support them.
- Schedule a free career strategy session. While working through these exercises and considering career changes, it’s important to have a strong support system. We are here for you, every step of the way! Schedule a free consultation to talk to us about your current situation now.