6 Scary Truths About Your Career (That Don't Have to be Scary)
Halloween's the scariest time of the year. Starting your career search may the second scariest...
It's Halloween season, and skeletons, goblins, and ghouls are not the only scary things to be terrified of! You can also be terrified about... YOUR CAREER!
It can be daunting to step into a new office after exiting the classroom. Just like transitioning from high school to post-secondary studies, entering the workforce can be a confusing experience, so it's perfectly normal to feel nervous and excited during the early steps of your career. With so many jobs and industries out there today, career planning can be a tedious and nerve-wracking task!
At the same time, everyone's career path and professional journey is riddled with question marks, countless unknowns, and risky decision-making. It may sound scary, but it doesn't have to be! Our career path is not a horror movie, even if you encounter some of these spooky truths:
1. The "perfect career" doesn't exist
Like many things in life, perfection doesn't exist. There will always be aspects of your career (or job) that you passionately love. On the flip side, there will always be some disadvantages causing you occasional grievances.
When planning your career or evaluating your opportunities, consider these questions:
- Are you willing to accept the cons as you accept the pros?
- Does it align well with your values?
- For the most part, does it satisfy you?
2. Networking is crucial!
Growing your professional network, having conversations in real-time, and meeting new professionals can be intimidating, especially for early-career professionals. However, your network can help you find many opportunities, ranging from internal job positions to professional development opportunities.
Recent graduates who are new to networking can start comfortably by conducting informational interviews with professionals of interest.
3. You may change your mind... a lot
As a recent graduate, the world is (metaphorically) your oyster. There is an endless array of career options, and the job market is constantly changing every day. Don't feel guilty if you're still unsure about what you want to do for the rest of your life because chances are you may never know! In fact, a lot of career professionals are asking the same question!
Switching careers or going back to school is no longer an uncommon phenomenon; more professionals seek fulfilling employment that provides a healthy work-life balance and aligns with their values.
4. You WILL make mistakes
As Albert Einstein once said, "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." Inevitably, new experiences come with mistakes. Don't give yourself a hard time if you made some reparable mistakes while being new to the job — some of the most outstanding professionals and leaders have made millions of mistakes before being where they are today.
No matter how many mistakes you may make while you're on the job, take accountability for them, assess what went wrong, and use it as a learning tool to grow from it professionally.
5. Chase opportunities: don't wait for them to fall into your lap!
The "perfect opportunity" that magically falls from the sky into someone's lap is a fictional tale only told in movies and books. The truth is, there are career opportunities yet to be discovered!
Don't limit yourself to applying on job boards; consult your network, organize informational interviews, and attend professional development events to seek opportunities. These opportunities are also known as the hidden job market.
6. Make time for yourself outside of work
Hustle culture is becoming rampant in today's job market, encouraging professionals to maintain a "competitive edge" in their careers. In some cases, it's not unheard of to encounter professionals who work past their standard working hours to keep afloat. With this in mind, it can be easy to get consumed in your work.
Bear in mind that work will always exist, so it's important to schedule breaks to relax, pursue hobbies, and spend time with loved ones outside of work. Don't let your job define your life — you're the narrator of your own story!
Explore more advice on the TalentEgg Incubator