How to Handle Career Goals that Change Frequently Over Time... Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of ‘How to Handle Career Goals that Change Frequently Over Time’. This article is a continuation of Part 1 and aims to further assist you in getting control of your career goals.

The job market today is full of rude surprises. And it is for this reason that many of us have learnt to exercise precaution by avoiding rigid career goals. For instance, as kids, we focused on the superficial aspect of careers which seemed flawless to say the least. Moreover, our teachers taught us that we could be anything we want in this world. So we were forgiven back then for setting career goals based on the ’reckless’ fabric of our imagination. That was until...

Reality set in

As a kid, I aspired to be a surgeon. Reason being that my mother worked in the hospital and I really admired her passion and resilience. Moreover, my imagination of this career was based on superficial media stories, educational forums and rumours on the ground. Plus of course, we all do remember those childhood games in which we would act out our dream careers. Unfortunately for us that bliss wouldn’t last long because over the years, reality taught us that:

  • Career Resources & Opportunities are limited: For instance, what if 200,000 high school students aspired to be surgeons at one time, yet there are only 10,000 university slots in the country. Many would resort to studying abroad, but how many can afford that? And that’s not all. What if there are only 500 job vacancies available for the 10,000 graduates? What happens then?
  • Careers Evolve with Time: Careers in the industrial sector were lucrative back in the 90s. But not anymore. Companies prefer outsourcing cheap industrial labour from India, China and other South East Asia Countries.
  • Education Quality Standards Vary: Developed nations are better equipped at providing quality education than third world nations. They also have more variety in terms of career choices. This is not rocket science, though individual circumstances are debatable. 
  • Competition is Relatively Unfair: Many recruitment exercises aren’t fair and transparent and at some point, manipulation is inevitable. For instance, the most academically qualified aren’t necessarily the most competent in terms of innovation and effectiveness. From a transparent point of view, the most educated should clinch the job, but that isn’t always the case.
  • Life Circumstances Matter a Great Deal: What if you’re aspiring for a career that’s only available abroad and yet you’re the only bread winner in your family. Your kids have to study and they need fees as well. Do you forsake them to fulfil your career goals and dreams?

From what we’ve discussed above, it’s quite clear that reality is subject to change, and we’re not exempted from it. That being said, we ask...

How does one Handle Career Goals that Change Frequently Over Time?

#1 Be Flexible and Open Minded in embracing Unfamiliar Territory

I can’t emphasize enough the dangers of resulting to robotic career tendencies. Having been educated in a certain career doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re programmed solely for it. Plus, the world today is tolerant enough to accept career multi-tasking. So take advantage and tap into unfamiliar territory. You’ll soon discover that career diversity boosts your innovative capabilities. All it takes is a flexible and open minded resolve to embrace unfamiliar territory. Speaking of which...

#2 Have a Series of Contingency measures to avoid Panic and Desperate Decisions

It’s said that failing to plan is planning to fail. Unfortunately, many stick so much to plan A, that plan B and C are handled with lots of panic and recklessness. And I think it has a lot to do with the burden of expectations. It’s just like trading in Forex where fluctuations in global currency are unpredictable. Many naive traders expect to make consecutive wins. But when a loss strikes, then subsequent trades are made in a state of panic. Similarly, some career goals will come with disappointments despite having made certain changes. It would be unwise to start blaming yourself and descend into total despair. Instead, you should quickly forgive yourself, learn from your mistakes and implement contingency measures to counter adverse effects of wrong decisions. This brings me to the next point...

#3 Leverage for Costly Career Changes to avoid Unnecessary Regrets

Sure we do regret some career changes we make, but there’s something worthwhile that keeps us going. It’s just like moving to a whole new country to advance your career. You might regret the friends you lose, but you’ll leverage for the ’collateral damage’ by maximizing on your career experience abroad. That way, you’ll be so much carried away by your career transformation that all unnecessary regrets simply fade away with time.

Change has become the latest fad in political circles today. It’s like nations all over the world are seeking for a messianic leadership that will transform lives for the better. I’m not sure when that will happen, but we’re the true masters of the change in our careers. Unfortunately, many of us are simply lost and unaware of the change we truly need in our careers. As renowned novelist Paulo Coelho once said, "Waiting hurts. Forgetting hurts. But not knowing which decision to take can sometimes be the most painful."

Image Credit: Transhumanism by Veronica Sicoe




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