Do you remember when you were little and your older relatives would always ask what do you want to be when you grow up? You would answer with the same old childish clichés like astronaut, ballerina, singer, professional cupcake eater. But there comes a time when you actually have to ask yourself when do you want to do when you grow up? Answering this question might not be as easy as it was when you were small, which is why many of us choose the wrong paths. In order for you not to make the same mistake, here are 6 signs you’re targeting the wrong career.

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#1. The learning process is stressful and difficult

Normally, when you are in college, you are bound to hit some bumps in the road or find it difficult, especially in the beginning. It’s very different from high-school, you might not be prepared for it and there is definitely a whole new level of learning you have to go through. However, if you’ve chosen the right college for you, it shouldn’t prove to be so hard. You should enjoy going to classes, find it interesting and quite easy to understand the topics at hand. If this is not the case for you, then you are faced with the first sign that you are on the wrong career path. Math, law, physics and anatomy are all difficult subjects, indeed, but if you were meant to be a doctor or a lawyer, you shouldn’t find it boring and irksome to simply study them.

#2. You are scared of actually starting to work

Going through college and then finding a job should be a process that comes naturally. After a few years of studying, most young people actually feel that they are now ready to go out and face the world, by doing the job they love. However, if you are feeling quite the reverse and are scared of finishing college and starting a job, here is your second clue that, unfortunately, you’ve chosen a career path that is not for you. You might be scared for different reasons: not having enough knowledge to start working, thinking that your future job will be boring and stressful, being scared that you’re going to be trapped doing this for the rest of your life. No matter what your reasons are, if you’re scared of starting to work, it’s time to reconsider your choices.

#3. The professional you is very different from the real you

Here is, probably, the best way to tell you are caught in a very wrong line of work. In order to do your job, you shouldn’t have to change who you are completely, assume a different personality when in the office and clothes that actually make you sad. Indeed, there are cases when you do have to comply with an office dress code but, if, for example you’re an accountant and all you can think of is being outside in sweatpants climbing a mountain, then the choice you made might not be the best one. The same goes for your personality. If your job requires you, for example, to work with people a lot, train them, make phone calls, participate in many meetings or make sales pitches and you are not a sociable person, again, this is not the career for, no matter what anyone else tells you.

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#4. Your professional instincts have failed to appear

Professional instincts are a real thing. Many people can and will tell you that, when you have finally found the perfect job, you will simply know that you’re there, what to do and how to do it. It has been described as feeling like you’ve received several years of training, although you’ve had none. For example, if when simply applying for a certain job on a job application site is daunting and you can’t even answer simple questions like “Why do you want to work for Company X?” or “Where do you see yourself in 5 years in our company?”, “What made you want to become a doctor/designer/accountant?” this isn’t the path for you. Normally, the applications themselves on these websites, via their carefully selected questions, will help you see if you’re meant to do a certain job or not. If not, you can always consult application review websites that detail the responsibilities of the job you’re targeting.

Very often, many students, while still in college, go for a certain career path they don’t know that much about. It might be that they were “pushed” to do it, told they would be good at it, it’s paid a lot or many other reasons, but they don’t actually know what it’s all about. Had their professional instincts kicked in regarding this, then those students would already understand what path lies ahead and what they will have to do. If not, perhaps they should reconsider.

#5. Your primary reasons for doing it are wrong

The perfect job should be the one that makes you happy. It sounds like a banal statement, but it’s not. Happiness in getting up every morning and knowing you will be spending your whole day doing what you love should be the number one reason for any career choice. If you’re thinking of doing it because of money, to make your family proud, to continue the family tradition, because you were told so or because you want to impress, you are doing it for all the wrong reasons.

#6. Jealousy

Professional jealousy is another common marker that you are in the wrong line of business. If you look at your family or your friends and think that they are much happier than you, have a lot more free time than you do, make a lot more money and are, generally, more well-rounded than you are as far as work is considered and you resent your own job for this, then you are clearly doing the wrong thing. Actually getting to resent what you do every day is clearly a sign that you chose careers poorly and need to do something about it.

Making career mistakes is easy and almost everybody does them. The ones that know from the age of, let’s say, 15, they want to be a painter and actually end up happily doing that for the rest of their lives are very rare to find people. Most of us need to take a few twists and turns in order to get there. The important thing is to know when you are in the wrong and not be afraid to correct it.

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Email:  General Information   |   Dr. Daniel de Roulet   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

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Daniel & David


6 Signs You’re Targeting The Wrong Career