By Lilian Wamaitha
Four decades ago, when you landed a job, your career was already defined for you.
I am sure you have those relatives who will tell you that they have worked the same job all their life. My grandmother for instance, was a secretary all her years until she retired. She never saw the necessity of finding a new job or changing her career to something else.
Fast forward today. Things have changed and it is very common for someone to change jobs multiple times in a ten year period.
The job market today is not as it used to be forty years ago. Things have changed and more and more people continue to advance in their education. Nowadays, having a degree is not such a big deal as it would have been a few decades ago. Hell, even a master’s degree is not that impressive.
The job market has become so much competitive as the high numbers of graduates compete for the same limited positions. As such it is very common for someone to get comfortable at a job they do not like.
Due to unavoidable circumstances, a lot of us had to take the jobs we are in today because they were the only ones available. We had no option to be choosy and wait for our dream jobs. An engineering student will be working in customer service while an accountant may be working in communication. It’s not such a surprise.
However, this should not be the case. In as much as the job market is a bit tough, you still have the right to do something that you really like. You have a right to wake up every day and put in extra effort eight hours a day for a job that you truly believe in.
Here are lies that a majority of us tell ourselves to justify sticking at a dead end job or career.
1. “I will only stay for another year.”
Hmmm…how long again has it been since you told yourself this? More than a year probably and now it’s three or five years down the line and you are still saying this.
Don’t delay the inevitable. If you truly believe that this is not the career for you, make that change now.
I can’t tell you how many emails I receive on a daily basis from people who have been at the same career for over five years and now want to change.
If you don’t make that move right now, a time will come when it will be too late to do it.
2. “I went to university for this.”
Oh this is a common one. Just because you got that degree in business management doesn’t mean that you should suffer in a boring career. There is no reason why you can’t go out there and become a graphic designer or a digital marketer.
Some of us due to unavoidable circumstances ended up pursuing courses that were in no way related to what we wanted to do.
Ten years down the line, all I want is to be proud of the choices I have made in life and I hope you do too.
3. “There are no jobs out there.”
As human beings we are very good at getting comfortable and fight anything that may take that comfort away.
Who said that there are no jobs out there in the field you are interested in?
Yes, unemployment rates are high right now, but people are still getting employed left and right.
A company will always make room for high-quality people who know how to sell themselves. If you truly believe you will be a valuable asset to another company, you can find work.
4. “The pay is too good to leave.”
This is one of the dangerous career traps that you can fall into because believe it or not, it’s very hard to get out of this.
Once you have become used to a certain level of income, your expenses follow and this makes it difficult to even consider a low paying career that you would love.
Just remember that money is just paper and can never be equated to the experience you will get. Time is of the essence and if you waste it on a career you don’t like, there is no getting it back.
Do something you love, because that is the best investment you can ever make for yourself.
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5. “I don’t know how to start over.”
While this is a valid concern for a majority of us, we get so caught up in this fear of never finding a similar job that we end up doing nothing.
Being stuck in a dead end career will only drain your passion and energy. What you don’t know is that starting a career, regardless of your age may be just what you need right now.
6. “I am not the only one in this situation”
You are probably still holding on to that career because you believe that you are not the only one. Yes, many people are stuck in their careers but you are not them.
Your life is yours to live and only you can make a decision to change it. Don’t live your life with the “we are many” mentality.
7. “I’m too old to start a new career.”
Age is just a state of mind and you only get one shot to make the right decision. Staying in a career you don’t love because you think that you are “too old” to start over is just crazy.
As long as you are willing to get out of your comfort zone and learn something new, there is no such this as too old.
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What it all comes down to is…
You will spend about 40 or 50 years of your life working. Shouldn’t that time be spent doing something that you are passionate about? Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to these lies because in the end they will rob you of that opportunity to make good your life. Instead, assess how happy or unhappy you are in your current career and if you need to change, don’t wait. Just do it now!
Lilian is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya and has a passion of improving other people’s lives through everyday inspiration. Leave a comment below if you agree with this article.