No one is perfect - we're all prone to reflect on our regrets. Everyone has something, whether major or minor, they wish could change. In both our professional and personal lives, we make decisions that don't always end up being good ones, and we eventually come to realize that we should have seized opportunities that slipped past.
As the years pass, we look back and can't help but analyze our performance. Some accomplishments bring back that sense of pride and the feeling of triumph that followed. Others make us feel as if we somehow escaped a catastrophe - even if we didn't have a clue how to navigate the journey, or how things would possibly unfold.
Then, there are those decisions that don't fit into either of these categories. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that make our chest tighten with dread and our confidence shatter for a moment. Those decisions invite the old creep of "what might have been" back into the living room of our mind. While our professional personal experiences are all different, there are some regrets are more common than you think.
Here are 10 things most people regret about their career.
1. Not doing more of what they love
Many people work for money in the present, while looking to the future to do what they love later. However, "later" is not guaranteed. Aliya LeeKong, successful chef and author, left a corporate job to pursue her dreams. It wasn't easy, but the lessons she learned helped her fully embrace her work.
2. Not realizing they were replaceable sooner
Everyone is replaceable, but that isn't always a bad thing. Being replaceable is liberating. Realizing the company's entire future doesn't solely depend on you frees up your energy to actually enjoy the present and relax just a bit. Looking back, so many people think on the things they would have done differently if they knew they weren't actually carrying the full weight of the company's burden.
3. Not having enough confidence to start their own company
Being a wantrepreneur is a stressful and unproductive way to live your life. Many look back and regret that they never took the necessary risks to make a real difference in their industry and the world. Don't make the mistake of staying stuck because of a perceived lack of resources - it takes as little as one weekend to launch a business.
4. Not quitting earlier
Time is really the only limited resource you have that you can never get back. Too many people spend time daydreaming about a career change but never actually turn it into a reality--or wish they had taken it earlier.
If you're thinking about a career change, writer Jacquelyn Smith suggests asking yourself the following questions:
5. Taking the job just for the money
Every day, someone takes a high-paying job because "the money is too good" to turn down. We all have bills to pay, but successful business people will all tell you the same thing. Never take a job you hate just because it comes with a great paycheck.
6. Micromanaging too much
Anxiety takes its toll, whether you're an employee or the boss. Choosing to cut back on micromanaging actually reduces your stress. Instead, delegate more and pass off responsibilities to capable team members. The less you worry about what everyone else is doing and carry their responsibilities, the better your life will be.
7. Not being more strategic when it comes to education
People once viewed education as a necessary resource to get ahead, but now view college as a "rite of passage" into the job force. Instead of seeing education as a necessary checkpoint, many wish they had been more strategic about their path, and utilized their time on campus to position them to propel into a viable career.
8. Not making family a higher priority
A successful career is a failure if the price comes at the expense of your loved ones. Coworkers and colleagues are integral parts of your life, but will never carry the same value as family. Don't sacrifice your family for success unless you want to live your life in regret.
9. Not moving on when the time came
Great jobs are out there, but no job is perfect all of the time. If you're discontent where you are, don't waste another minute complaining. Take time to appreciate what's in front of you and remember why you chose your job in the first place. If you're truly unhappy, move on--but take the time to learn from your current experience as well.
10. Not trusting the gut and acting on intuition
Many people follow along the path expected for them, only to end up unhappy and unfulfilled. Instead, follow your gut instinct and take action. You never know what opportunity awaits, and the chance may not come around again.
You may have more than one career in your life, but it can still be nerve-wracking to make a decision and hope success follows. Minimize the chance for regret in your life by seizing opportunities that matter to ultimately seize the day. Carpe diem!
What regrets do you have about your career? What can you change? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: