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Are you an accidental careerist?

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The Leap To Lead
Are you an accidental careerist?

Are you an accidental careerist?

When people get to a certain age, and no I’m not going to put a number on it LOL! there comes a moment of reflection, of taking stock of life. A moment where we ask ourselves, am I doing all that I want to and ought to be doing?

For some people, they get to this moment in life and they realise that everything has just happened. There is a feeling that life has simply happened to them and not by them. They realise that life has taken them on a journey that perhaps wasn’t their choice. That they never made a conscious decision to pursue the career or life they have. It’s all been a bit of an accident.

Having an accidental career can happen for loads of different reasons, but often it’s due to life changes. When things change in our lives - getting married, moving countries, having kids - we make choices that work for us in that moment. Sometimes we don’t take the time to think about what we really want, or what would really drive us, or what would really play to our strengths. We do something because it just makes sense at the time. 

So many women I met while living in Asia, took on admin roles at the embassy for example, nothing to do with their ‘real’ skill set, but something they could do while living in that city and country. It doesn’t devalue the work they do, it’s just not what they really want to do.

Perhaps you did something really well, accomplished something amazing and someone told you, you should do xxx or you would be really good at xxx. Maybe you shrugged your shoulders and thought, ok then. And so began an accidental pursuit in your life. Often other people recognise the strengths in us, and based on their version of what that should look like, they guide us into careers that maybe aren’t really suited to us. This guide could be our parents, a well meaning friend, or a teacher. Someone we respect who makes a suggestion, and we think they know what’s best and we do it.

Often choices are made because it’s what suits the family lifestyle at that time. Especially with young kids, women often seek a role that is ‘easy’, something they don’t have to think about when they leave work, that gives them flexibility to be there for their kids. These are commonly roles that are not aligned with their strengths or interests, it’s just something to do and to earn a little money. It’s not meaningful, and in some cases down the track it can leave them feeling resentful.

Sometimes people fall into a career because they lack personal vision. They don’t know what they actually want to do, so they take the first thing that is offered to them. They don’t know what they’re really good at, ever heard of the Jack Of All Trades, Master of None. Often someone who describes themselves this way has experienced an accidental career.

If you’re wondering about your own journey, here are some steps you can take:

  • Take a quick look backward, were your career moves accidental or intentional?
  • Were they positive or negative moves? Is there a pattern? What learning can you take from this?
  • Make a list: 
    • What do you want more of? 
    • What do you want less of?
  • What is one thing you could do to have more of that in your life and/or career?

Are you looking for some support to move beyond your accidental career? Book a free 30 minute clarity session with me this November. 

In this 30 minute clarity session you can clear the fog, gain clarity and know what action you need to take. There are only 10 clarity sessions available, and they are completely free. Book your 30 minute clarity session now and finally have focus and clarity in your life!

Book your free 30 minute clarity session now - 

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