My professional record is far from impressive; two years after graduating college, I had already held three unrelated positions – marketing, nannying, and law!
I put all common sense on the sidelines and did what I knew was wrong. Quitting my job without having a new one lined up, due to my distress, caused me to draw from my savings while working as a nanny instead of finding a better-paying occupation. With no money left looming over me, I urgently searched for work and eventually found myself in an administrative position at a law firm.
Before coming to my current position as a life and career coach for Millennials, I was forced to make some chaotic decisions that could have been avoided. Yet despite the price of those wrong turns – fraught with blunders, missteps, and mistakes – I am now helping people discover the intersection between their career path and passions in order for them to live more energized lives full of fulfillment.
To prevent career and life blunders, it’s essential to take a step back and reflect. Here are 3 strategies that can help you do just that:
1. How do you define a mistake?
Every misstep isn’t necessarily a mistake. Perhaps you articulated something incorrectly in an interview and didn’t land the job, or maybe you hastily finished up a report, overlooking an important detail that left you with a reprimand.
We are imperfect creatures, and making mistakes is an unavoidable part of life. It’s essential to embrace these shortcomings so that we can learn from our experiences and gain clarity on the type of life we want to lead. Mistakes help us appreciate the good moments in life even more!
Making a misstep in your interview can give you an insight as to what should have been said, and the realization may lead you closer to your passion. Being reprimanded for hastily finishing up a report might make it clear that this job isn’t right for you – so don’t be afraid of taking bold steps in pursuing something more meaningful!
I’m going to take a risk and suggest that action only becomes a mistake if it’s repeated multiple times.
That one time may offer a unique lesson, but if it happens five times in sequence then you are likely caught in a loop due to deeper issues. This brings us to…
2. What new skills are you refusing to acquire?
When you’re caught in a continuous cycle of failing – like when you can’t seem to keep a job, your bosses are always unbearable, or every time you make more money it somehow disappears – this is an obvious indicator that there’s something much greater at play. You need to take the time to investigate and discover what is happening.
Do not consider your mishaps and stumbles as something happening “to” you; if there is an ongoing pattern of misfortune, it could be that you are the common denominator for this. You will keep encountering dull jobs, unappreciative managers, and inadequate salaries until you understand why these have been presented to you in the first place. Take a chance to discover how such experiences may shape your future success!
Until I took action, history kept on repeating itself. Instead of dwelling and understanding why I was in the wrong job, my misery only increased until I impulsively quit and moved on to another one – all from a place of anxiety. It was an entirely reactive approach to living my life without much thought or consideration before taking drastic steps.
If you have the occasional bad experience with a boss, it could be because you haven’t yet learned how to assert your rights and express what is important to you.
Could it be that you have been “inadvertently” settling for unfulfilling jobs when deep down inside you are actually enticed by the idea of entrepreneurship?
Therefore, the logical next question is…
3. How eager are you to try something new?
Repeated mistakes can be avoided if you diligently consider their teachings and accept accountability for your involvement.
Now that you’ve taken accountability for the lesson, it’s time to make a change. Each misstep can help refine precisely what you wish to achieve in life.
Alright, so leaving your job didn’t work out. That’s ok, but what would you have preferred to happen instead?
If the conversation didn’t go as planned, how can you ensure it goes better in the future?
Transform your mistakes into a resource that you can use to create the future of your dreams.
Life doesn’t have to be a rollercoaster of errors and incorrect guesses. You can take charge, make conscious decisions and create the career path you want for yourself! Don’t let your life pass by in confusion – instead, be enlightened about where it’s taking you.
Millennials, if you’re looking to make fewer mistakes and take a proactive approach on your path toward success, I urge you to join the thousands who already took The Passion Profile Quiz. This free resource created by my business partner and me provides helpful guidance for young people seeking ways to combine their career goals with what they are passionate about!
How are you going to use your career blunders as a guide and learn from them? Please, I’m all ears!