How To Choose The Wrong Career
At a university like Warwick, it’s easy to fall into the trap of picking a certain career just because everyone else seems to be doing it. A lot of the time we feel as though we are boxed in. We know what careers we are expected to do just because of the university we attend. In the end, we allow the wrong factors to cloud our decision and we end up working in industries and careers that we hate.
I’m going to tell you what not to focus on if you don’t want to find yourself living in regret in 10 years’ time.
This usually relates to traditional roles, but what you consider to be prestigious or reputable can be influenced by your environment and the connections you have. A reputable job matters to people for so many different reasons. One reason could be that you want to show people that you’ve come a long way. You may not have had the easiest life whilst growing up, so transitioning from that to a prestigious career gives you a confidence boost because it makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Another reason could be that you like the treatment/reaction that comes with people knowing what you do. Family and friends usually like to brag about us. Maybe you care about impressing them, and you think that your career is one way to do this. Other people just want to work a job that is seen to be reputable because they associate prestigious careers with good financial prospects, which brings me to my next point.
If work-life balance and job satisfaction aren’t important factors to you and a high salary takes priority then this point doesn’t apply to you.
While we all recognise the importance of financial stability, it shouldn’t be a reason why you choose a job if it doesn’t align with your interests and your passion. Sure, getting paid a six-figure salary is lovely (I am definitely not going to argue about that) but if work-life balance and job satisfaction are important to you and these expectations aren’t being met, then you have to consider whether a big paycheck is really worth it. It’s also important to remember that if you’re passionate about your work, you’re more likely to do it better. This could lead to promotions, and promotions usually lead to an increase in salary. Yes, it might take a little longer to get there, but at least you know that you’ve enjoyed every step of the journey. And if you’re anything like me, you understand that the journey is the most important part. Usually, when I achieve a goal, it either doesn’t feel as good as I thought it would or the novelty wears off in a few days, but hey, maybe that’s just me!
External influences can be your lecturer trying to convince you to choose a certain profession, or even feeling like you need to work a certain job because your family rely on you. Finding yourself in this position is tough. You want to please everyone and do what is right by them, but none of this means anything if it’s not right by you first. No one else is going to wake up and go to work for you when you can’t bear the thought of doing a job you hate. No one is going to work those demanding hours for you when your stress levels are through the roof. I know it’s easy to fall victim to external influences, but you need to remember to put your wants and needs first.
I’m aware that sometimes a situation may arise where you need to put aside your wants to help a loved one out. If this does happen, just make sure you don’t get trapped doing something you hate. Create a plan, or a timeline if you can, and stick to it! Whatever you do, just don’t waste your talents and skills.