There are a ton of ways to ruin your career. In a world where it seems like there are landmines around every corner, it doesn’t take much to “psyche yourself out”. But before you move on to the next article, here are 5 sure-fire ways to ruin it before you even begin! Do any of these tips resonate with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
#1) Trying to prove your worth
One of the quickest ways to burnout is trying to prove your worth. You know the feeling you get when you pursue a career simply to validate yourself? Be honest… what happens when you attain that status? How long does the novelty last? Picking a career to prove your worth rather than following your passion can often lead to emptiness and exhaustion. If you’re picking a career to put yourself on a pedalstol, just stop! The world has enough ego-manics and you don’t need to become one of them!
#2) Focusing on yourself rather than a cause greater than yourself
Often times, the first thing that comes out of people’s mouths are what they are doing for themselves. This isn’t bad, or wrong… it’s just incomplete. When our careers get focused on self-improvement without a bigger picture of how it serves other people, this is the kindling for a career forest fire. It doesn’t take much, but if we’re not careful, we have the propensity to cave within ourselves. Find a career path that has an impact on community and a cause greater than your own self-improvement.
#3) It’s all about the bling
Money isn’t bad. It’s a necessity. Having lots of money isn’t wrong either. But when we sacrifice our purpose for a paycheck, you are one step closer to a career chasm. When figuring out what career path to take, money shouldn’t be the priority. So do zero’s and commas matter at all? Yes, they matter. But don’t simply pick a career because of the benefits. Pursue a career that you know you were made to do. Sometimes choosing a career that best fits you might mean taking a paycut.
#4) Chasing everyone else’s expectation of you
I coach a lot of people who struggle with this one. Just the other day I was talking with someone about their career path and they said that their parents wouldn’t pay for college unless they stayed in a particular major. That’s real.
What are the expectations people have of you? These can be explicit or implicit. When choosing a career, how much are you deciding based on people’s opinions rather than your own personal calling?
Stop chasing everyone else’s dreams for you. The sooner you can find your dream, the better you will be able to decide whether people’s expectations match with your personal calling. Don’t confuse the two.
#5) Trying to fix every single need
Let’s be honest. You’re only human. You can’t fix every need out there in the world. There will always be a need. Whether it’s in your company, organization, faith-community, or ideology. There will always be needs and if you aren’t sure of what your passions truly are, then you won’t have a chance of meeting any of those needs. Find and fix the needs that align with who you are. If you don’t, there is a danger of being crushed by the weight of every need. We can only help solve the world’s greatest problems when we know what we were created for.
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Picking a career path, redirecting your current one, or finding your purpose in life isn’t easy. But next time you find yourself stuck, evaluate your choices with these 5 simple statements. I hope they help!