Choosing a Career

never too late

Why Changing Careers is Often Necessary

I have been reviewing resumes and professional bios lately  It’s increasingly common to see job changes every two or three years on most resumes.  There are pros and cons to being a job changer.  The pros include easier access to high level positions, exposure to more careers, developing new skill-sets, apparent ambition and willingness to take risks.  The potential cons to career hopping is that employers may view you as lacking focus, competency, committment and relationship skills.  Penelope Trunk offers an insightful perspective and some guidelines on career moves based on her experience:

According to Penelope, “Most career problems stem from the fact that we are terrible at picking jobs. We think we are picking a good job and then it turns out to be a bad job. It’s almost impossible to pick a good job on the first try, actually. So don’t think you’ll be the exception.

Economist Neil Howesays that only 5% of people pick the right job on the first try. He calls those people “fast starters” and in general, they are less creative, less adventurous and less innovative, which makes a conventional, common path work well for them.

So it’s questionable whether you should even aspire to be one of those people who picks right the first try. But, that said, we all still want to be good at choosing paths for ourselves.”

Guidelines for choosing your first, third or fifth career

Here’s a quick synopsis of Penelope’s guidelines in choosing a career:

    • Don’t believe the hype.  We have a grass-is-greener approach to professions that are not our own.
    • Pick a lifestyle not a job title. Look at the lives you see people having, and ask yourself whose life you would want.
    • Don’t overcommit. Testing out lots of different jobs is a great idea. Job hopping is the sign of someone who is genuinely trying to figure out where they fit.

Read the complete article at penelopetrunk.com.

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Categories: Professional Development

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2 replies

  1. I love this, “Pick a lifestyle, not a job title.” It requires some serious honesty in examining one’s own life priorities, but is worth it!

    • Hi Rachel. So true. Many of us, especially early on in our career, are pressured to go for jobs with prestige or some other cache. It takes courage to truly pick a job which reflects your priorities or desired lifestyle if that goes against the expected.

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