As youngsters, we envision a career that is exciting and full of glory. Doctor, astronaut, actor. When we travel toward adulthood that shiny idea fades to some confusion and then we hopefully emerge with an idea of a career that aligns with our interests. We follow a path that we are told will get us there and we are ushered into our careers with the expectation that ‘this is it.’
All of these decisions are made well before we have the real maturity to actually assess if the chosen path is the right path and well before we face the many roles we encounter as adults that can greatly impact our values and needs.
What Career Trend is Impacting You?
Today, the average person has 10-15 job changes throughout the span of their career. Gone are days of employer and employee loyalty. Gone are the days when we are happy to do the same job day in and day out for years and years. Instead we are spending far less than a handful of years at each position, gleaning what we can to help us move on to the next.
What does this career trend have to do with our values and needs? The career we start off with at 20 meets an entirely different set of values and needs than the career we have at 40. When the dream job you’ve been chasing for almost a decade finally presents itself, you might find that you no longer want it. Outside of our careers, our lives change. The notion of our ‘whole life’ encompasses all of the roles that we fulfill plus the values we hold and the needs we have. We mature, we build relationships, we grow families, we move, our socio-economics alter; the complexities of our whole lives evolve with time. These changes impact what we need and want out of a job.
Evaluate Your Career Decisions
When making career decisions, individuals should examine their whole life to understand the full impact of the decision. After considering your career fit (of course!), look at the external impact: how will this new position effect your personal life: your time, your income, your relationships, your mental health, and your physical health, etc. When you add up the pluses and minuses, do they balance out, or is one or more area at risk?
Sometimes the answers to these questions are glaringly obvious while other times we need to dig down deep with self reflection. Simple exercises like a Cost/Benefit Analysis or a SWOT Analysis can help one get a better view. While these activities are typically reserved for business, they can be just as effective when used for personal decision making. The purpose is that you are looking at your decisions from all angles and considering each area of your life.
As your next career opportunity approaches, be sure to sit back and ask yourself: How will this impact my whole life, and it is a change I will be happy with?
Want to readjust your career to better suit your whole life? Contact Melissa Mac to explore how career coaching can help you find a career that meets your current needs.