If you and I were to talk about your career, it would take me about 2 minutes for me to figure out if you’re sabotaging your career change.

The tricky thing is that you probably don’t know that you’re doing those things. Ok, you might already know you’re making Mistake #1, but I think Mistake #3 will really surprise you!

Sabotage Move #1: You apply for jobs you don’t want.

You keep applying for the same kind of jobs you’ve already had, even though you know you don’t want to do that thing.

This is a colossal waste of your time and energy.

If you even get a job offer, every fiber of your being will be screaming, “No, no, no!” but you probably won’t even make it that far because people who don’t want the job are not appealing candidates.

Instead of applying for the same ole stuff you don’t like and will reject, you need an effective process and structure to figure out what you want.

Sabotage Move #2: You set the bar too low.

When you’re in a job that is not the right fit:

  • underpaid
  • overworked
  • unsupported
  • devalued

it affects how you think about your next career move. When you are burned out, beaten down, and desperate for relief, you set the bar low.

Sounds like: “I just want to be able to take a walk during the day.”

”I just want to work with mature grown-ups.”

”I just want to be able to sleep through the night without stressing about work.”

When you set the bar low, you set yourself up for a slightly better version of the hell you’re trying to escape.

You need to set the bar HIGH. Not arbitrarily high.

But when you let yourself dream, think expansively, and are honest about what you really want and need…that’s a higher standard than the day-to-day, drained, exhausted version of you would ever come up with.

Setting the bar low will get you more of the same. Hope and honesty can lead you somewhere healthy, exciting, and sustainable. So raise the bar!

Sabotage Move #3: You’re way too focused on your skills.

I hear this all the time: “How can I use my skills at something new?” and “How can I communicate my skills?” or “How can I repackage my skills?”

Your skills are just part of the equation when it comes to choosing a meaningful career.

When you over-focus on your skills, you end up applying for the same kinds of jobs you’ve already done and end right back up at Mistake #1.

Instead, what you need is a holistic strategy that accounts for your skills, your sense of purpose, your income, your work style, the life you want outside of work, and a whole lot more.

Have you been accidentally sabotaging your career change with one of more of these mistakes? They are all quite common, but they all have corrections. Have FUN changing #2, especially, and raise the bar on your expectations for your career.

Laura Simms is an expert in meaningful work who challenges conventional wisdom by asking people to ditch their passions and start with purpose.

If you have too many passions, zero passions, or can't seem to combine your passions, try her purpose-first approach to find a career you love.  


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