A recent career survey with 1,000 executives showed that they had no regrets making these career moves.
1. Quitting a job they didn't like - 56%
Life is too short to be stuck in a job you hate.
While you shouldn't up and quit with no savings or back-up plan, you should take steps to shift gears if you feel that this job is not for you.
When there is a will, there is a way. With today's fast-changing economy and job climate, changing jobs is no longer a big hassle. Spruce up your CV (How to upgrade your CV here) and get in touch with some recruiters. As long as you take the first step, there is no holding you back.
2. Changing fields or industries - 41%
Similar to the above, if you truly dislike the current field or industry you are in, or see no long-term potential, sometimes it's best to bite the bullet and just go for the change. Looks like the 1,000 executives agreed as well.
No change is too big, there are success stories of people going back to their school in their 40s and becoming a doctor. Ultimately, you are in charge of your own life. And we don't want to die with regrets.
3. Speaking up about a problem at work - 39%
Usually, the fear of speaking out is scarier than the problem itself. Everyone is human, even your boss. And what your boss wants ultimately is for employees to be happy so that the company can run smoothly. You'd be surprised at how understanding bosses can be, speak up and solve the problem together.
If it's about confessing to a mistake you made, or identifying a co-worker's issues, you'd might have more dilemmas. However, covering-up mistakes or problems will only self-implode later on. The key is to be tactful and remorseful (if it's your issue), and crucially, to offer solutions. If you bring to your bosses an issue together with a solution, everyone will be grateful and focused on the solving instead of shifting blame.
You can also discuss the issue with a trusted friend or colleague first. However, don't give yourself too many excuses by continually talking about it, make sure you follow-through with action.
4. Negotiating for a raise - 34%
So many people identify their biggest career mistakes as not asking for a raise (and sooner!).
The startling part of this is the compounding effect. If you start from a higher base and as early as possible, the incremental rises can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over 20 years of your career.
Also, always negotiate at the start. Career experts advise to always negotiate for pay when you first get a job offer, as this is a time when you have the most leverage.
There is no loss to you here. If you never ask, you never know.
How to ask is also an art. Make sure you go in prepared. Set up a meeting with your boss, at a time where your boss feels comfortable (don't schedule it on a Friday late afternoon, or before an important meeting). Come prepared armed with facts about how you have contributed to the company's bottom-line. Be firm but polite in asking for a raise, and ask for more than what you want (+10%).
Even if the monetary compensation is fixed, you can try for the non-monetary benefits. You might be able to qualify for extra leave days or medical or course benefits that can improve your overall package.
5. Pursuing your passion/ Starting your own business - 22%
Finally, pursuing your passion and starting your own business. A lot of us go to our jobs day in and day out dreaming of a day we will finally get to pursue our dreams.
As the Chinese proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree is yesterday, the next best time is now. Why not start today?
It is easy to psych yourself out by thinking that your new business idea or your passion is too big a goal. If you break it down into small steps, you will find it much more achievable. Set 1 hour a day after work to work on your passion project. Turn it into a side hustle, even if you don't grow it into a full fledge business, having a side hustle adds to your financial cushion. In any case, starting a business has a learning curve, and the sooner you start, the faster you make mistakes, learn from them and get your dream business on track!
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