4 Biggest Mistakes People Make with their Careers

Here’s a list of the four biggest mistakes people make when making decisions about their career.

College Major Has Little Significance To A Career Or Job

Many people who go to college are going because everyone else is going and they aren’t sure what to do after high school.

Presently, about 35% students actually use their major to find a suitable career. Often , I hear that people want the easiest major to just finish school and where they have the least amount of homework. Fast forward — if they are not going to graduate school, they do not have a “marketable skill”. Also, for many people, at the age of 18, they simply do not know what they want to study and are clueless. However, going to college might give them more time and might be a good background before going on to graduate school. Needless to say, if a person has spent two years in college, doing average work, feeling clueless about a major, it would make sense to take a break , gap year, travel, look at a technical school, or work.

“I Have All The Time In The World…”

People who are not happy with their jobs tend to procrastinate about making a change – there is no rush.. However, what we see as people get older, is the “golden handcuffs” – where they become dependent on their nice salary even though they are not happy with what they are doing.

For example, working with lawyers at mid-life , I often see people who are in their forties who feel very stuck and are afraid to make a change and don’t see a lot of options. As they say, “ you blink when you are 30, then blink again when you are 35 “ – Time keeps racing by: we don’t have all the time in the world.

“I Can Do It Myself….”

People often are afraid of seeking help – whether it is for a broken faucet, depression, or replacing wallpaper. Working with clients for many years, it’s fascinating area why so many people resist help on any area of their life. Often, it goes back to our family of origins and what we have observed in the attitudes of our parents. For many, seeking help is a form of weakness – “ I should be able to do it myself.” Especially when it comes to paying for services, people are reluctant or feel they can do it themselves. However, they might not do as good of a job or procrastinate getting the service done.

Career Coaching has become quite popular in the last 20 years and people are now paying for this service which often does not get addressed in High school or college.

However, working with a career coach can actually speed the process of career discovery and assessment tests can reveal a lot about a person at a deeper level. As in the whole area of career coaching, going to a trained professional coach can actually save time and money in the long run.

I often see people who have paid much money for a course- or certification without any thought or only depended on the marketing online. They were later disappointed and felt they had wasted time and money. I worked with a woman who got a certificate in “health administration” and disliked it immensely. She ended up after a result of career testing to re-enter school in interior design and is most pleased.

“I Don’t Know When To Give Up….”

We are all faced with dilemmas… When do I give up something that is not giving me results or is satisfying? Its a scary decision especially when we have put in much money or time to our endeavors. For example, 50% of women attorneys leave the field within 10 years and many teachers leave the field within 5 years. With the pandemic, many teachers also chose to retire early leaving many openings for teachers. When do you give up? Need a reset? It is a tough question for everyone… However, if a person starts to have physical symptoms and struggles getting up in the morning and is becoming less productive, it is time to look at a career change or reset.