How Do You Cope After Choosing a Wrong Career?

By Richard White

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As a child of seven years of age, I was asked what I wanted to become when I grow up. I remember I said I wanted to become a newscaster. How I even knew the meaning of such a term at that age still remains a mystery to me. I could have said that I wanted to be a painter or a magician, instead I said I wanted to become a journalist. Trust me, I was never asked about my career the second time. It was unanimously decided that I would be a journalist. Yes, I am a journalist today, but not by choice anymore.

The reality stood in front of me just when the economy tanked. I was not happy. Gradually, I developed a strong passion for writing. But there was no way I could give up my existing career. However, I realized that nothing is lost; I can still pursue what I want in my life. If you are one such reader who has mislaid his or her career path, here are a few pieces of advice about moving positively towards your desired goal.

Never think it is too late:

It is never too late to make a career change in your life. Although it might be a bit difficult it is possible to move into a different field of work. If you think age can come into the equation, then you are wrong. As soon as you realize that you have made the wrong move start pursuing the avenues to move into the direction you want to go in. Remember, where there is a will, there is most definitely a way.

Identify what you do not love so much:

You already know what you like about this career, but finding its fault is a difficult part to accept. The instability of my profession was something which I started disliking as I was getting started in the field. That was the time I decided to transit to something else. Gradually I realised that I had more interests in magazine journalism and script writing - it didn’t live, breathe and die journalism. It was just a part of it. Accepting the fact that there are aspects of this field that were not ‘me’ made it easier to leave it behind.

Emphasize on what you love about your career choice:

Maybe you are someone who has suddenly lost your job. However, if such a situation has not changed your passion for that job then figure out what drove you in that career direction in the first place. Now start devising what other careers may require the same skills and passions. I loved the way sentences and words could be put together to tell stories. I love the way words can help the readers learn something new. I love to geek out over proper sentence structure and punctuation placement.

And I need not be a journalist to maintain my passion for all these things. If you are passionate about moving in to another career, look at the skills you have acquired within your current job and see how they can help you make the transition.

Be greedy:

Multi-tasking may be the perfect word. There is no hard and fast rule that you have to occupy yourself with one job - a journalist during the day and a writer at night. All you have to do is chart out a proper plan and know the varied options that the real world has to offer to you. Always think it is better to dream big and take risks rather than being unhappy throughout your life.

As you have found the faults, do what you have always wanted to do:

Not having a steady job is stressful, but it is more stressful if you don’t know what job you should look for. Take an internship or start volunteering in a field you have always been interested in. When a friend of mine was laid off from his job, he was not sure what direction he wanted to head in. While he explored his options, he volunteered in a handicraft fair because he loved craft work and wanted to learn more about the industry. This is how he discovered his passion and is now a part of a leading handicraft company. He loves his job much more than the one he was laid off from.

It can be quite disheartening when you feel that the world is against you and telling you that you have chosen a wrong career but remember sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.


Richard White works as an editor at Yellow Brick Path. He enjoys varying his work and researching new and different approaches. He shares an interest in career counselling and recruitment.

Image credit: recitethis

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