Are You Making A Career Mistake?

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Are you making a career mistake right at this very moment? Perhaps you have a job offer, been offered a promotion or have headed back to school. These are all very exciting prospects or opportunities, yet they may actually be working against your progress.

Let me share three warning signs that you may be making a career mistake:

1) You are about to take that promotion or job because you are going to make about 20 – 25% more money.  If this is your only reason, then that bump in comp excitement may last about 5 weeks.  Check out this Forbes study.   Actually, if you are between $50,000 and $75,000 you are in what many would call the salary sweet spot.  Above $75K, you may find that the extra hours, responsibilities and stress may not be worth that raise.

2. You decide to enroll in that educational degree program because either A) Your father told you to or B) You think that when you are finished you will be more marketable and able to land the perfect job.  This would be an example of what Dan Pink calls an “Instrumental” reason.  An instrumental reason is one that is made because you think it will lead you to someplace good or better.  This is juxtaposed to a “Fundamental” reason, which is one made because it is important to you.

3. You are listening to the voices of others vs. listening to your own voice.  Sometimes it is difficult to discern whether that is your father, mother or authority figure telling you to follow that path.  As I shared in my quotes post last week, Shakespeare says, that “God gives us one face, yet you make yourself another.”

In summary, this is really about the counter position to what I shared in 1 -3 above.  In point #1, making more money is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the work maintains its meaning to you.  In point #2, the degree could be a fabulous proposition, as long as you enjoy the subject matter and wish to enhance your skill to help others.  In point #3, find your own voice by answering the question, “What is it that I really want?’