One inevitable part of life is that at some point, we will make choices that we regret further down the track. As the expression goes, “we’re only human” and let’s face it, some bad choices teach us valuable life lessons that we may not have learnt otherwise.
That doesn’t mean however that we can’t try to mitigate the risk of making choices that we might regret, particularly when they stem from a place where we are giving up a part of who we are and what we believe in within the workplace.
So, what are some of the career choices to avoid?
1.Making Moves Based Solely on Money
We won’t lie, more money can be helpful in life but in terms of your career, making serious choices based solely on money rarely ends well.
For example, if you have resigned and accepted a monetary counter offer, the initial problems that prompted your resignation don’t magically go away because you’re earning more. In fact, sometimes they get worse as more may be expected of you.
Or similarly, if you move to a new company based solely on salary instead of the other benefits (culture, location, projects, team, responsibilities and so on), then you may find yourself wishing you’d made another choice.
2.Sacrificing Your Ideals for your Job
We’re not naïve, we know that you can’t necessarily have everything you want in every job you have but that doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your personal beliefs for your job, boss or your salary.
This is an easy trap to fall into – especially if you feel as though you are working for one of the best companies in your industry. Rest assured though, operating under someone else’s beliefs purely for your job security will become soul draining.
3.Thinking that you Need to Change Who you Are For the Job
You know in your gut when a job isn’t right for you but many people will stick with a job believing that they need to change who they are for the job instead of changing the job they are doing.
This isn’t to say that you should immediately cut and run if you’re finding a job challenging – challenges are crucial for boosting your career and ensuring your personal development.
What we’re talking about is deep down knowledge that your job is making you unhappy and it’s not the career path you want to take. Many people in this situation persevere because they feel they must when sometimes the wisest thing you can do is acknowledge that it’s time to let it go.
4.Working Yourself Down to the Bone
Yes, everyone will need to put in extra hours here and there – this is an inevitable part of anyone’s working life. There is however a fine line between working extra hours when necessary and consistently working 50 hours or more a week.
This isn’t sustainable and will eventually start eating into your life, friendships, relationships, mental and physical health.
A good question to ask yourself is “why am I working so many extra hours?” Is it because of your own personal drive or is it because you feel it is expected of you? The former may be manageable on a short-term basis, the latter may mean you need to question your working environment.
5.Not Prioritising your Happiness in the Workplace
There’s a reason why the preface “life’s too short….” pops up so often and it applies to the workplace far less than it should. The average person spends approximately 2/3rds of their life at work. This equates to around 45-50 years. This is a lot of time spent being miserable if you always place your career before your happiness.
Psychological studies have consistently found that people that enjoy their work and who are happy in their workplace are more productive and feel more fulfilled. To us, this is something that should be prioritised.