Stanford Payne, who we quoted previously in the September 2012 edition of The Corporate Digest,
quotes an interesting global workforce survey revealing that 71% of people wished they had studied further, 48% wished they had studied something completely different and 16% said they had chosen the wrong career. Another 25% said that they were still uncertain about their career choice.
A Harvard Business Review article highlighted the regrets that professionals have with their careers and listed the top five regrets as:
- I wish I hadn't taken the job for the money.
- I wish I had quit earlier.
- I wish I had had the confidence to start my own business.
- I wish I had used my time at school more productively.
- I wish I had acted on my career hunches.
Hearing about other peoples' regrets can help you spot similarities in some of the feelings that you may have and hopefully encourage you to make a change today.
Regrets are a by-product of fear and get you stuck in the past playing 'what if' games.
Changing jobs, starting your own business or moving to a new career all have less financial stability and new responsibilities that can understandably lead to fear. However, not taking any action, can translate that fear into regrets.
Facing the fear can have positive results as most people do not regret removing themselves from negative situations.
There are several actions to take to prevent the occurrence of regrets:
- Finances - budget, save and live within norms that will allow you to take on opportunities when presented.
- Career goals and planning - set smart goals and, if necessary, use a career coach to help guide you.
- Time management - prioritize what is really important and create room on your calendar for the important events.
- Red flags - be aware of your past experience and be wise in not allowing the same circumstances to recur.
- Confidence - master decision making and trust your gut instinct more.
Remember that regrets about your personal life stay with you well after those about your career. Make wise decisions and don't regret anything you could have done something about.