Do you often find yourself watching the clock at work, anxiously waiting for it to reach 5:00 p.m.? Have you ever caught yourself day dreaming about the ways your life could be different had you chosen an alternate career path? If so, you are not alone. Countless Americans are unhappy with their current employment situations and are spending 40 plus hours a week in jobs that are not only unfulfilling and unchallenging, but often times extremely stressful.
How did you get to this point? Many of us feel forced to put aside our dreams and desires because they are deemed impractical or unattainable. The easier or more “stable” career path is chosen out of fear because it presents itself as the safer, wiser choice. Unfortunately, the more practical career path is not always the one you dreamed of or the one that is necessarily right for you. Or perhaps you thought you were getting into a career you would love and ten years later realized your heart just is not in it anymore. After devoting all of these years to one particular career path, it is terrifying to think about starting all over doing something completely different with your life.
So where do you go from here? Step one is admitting to yourself that you are unhappy in your current job. Denial will only make it harder to realize your dreams. Step two is much more important. Step two involves actually doing something about it. You can choose to live the rest of your life simply “treading water,” or you can wake up and realize that life is short and should not be wasted in a job that simply pays the bills and nothing more. Your job should bring meaning to your life and provide happiness, as well as success.
If for as long as you can remember you have dreamt of working with animals or children, then you should research careers in veterinary medicine, teaching, etc. and figure out what steps you would need to take to make that kind of a career change. If you have no idea what you would like to do but are certain that your accounting job will never provide the fulfillment you desire, there are a few options to explore. There are tests specifically designed to identify your strengths and point out careers that would be well suited for you. Or you can visit a career coach who will work with you one on one to determine the best path for you to choose.
Though we may not like to admit it, the majority of our lives are spent at work, which makes it incredibly important to enjoy what we do. There is no reason to feel “stuck” in your current position or feel as though you must spend the rest of your life in the same, unsatisfying career. Whether you have been in the workforce for two years or twenty years, it is never too late to follow your dreams and create a meaningful career.