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3 Tips for Recognizing When You’ve Landed Yourself in the Wrong Career

3 Tips for Recognizing When Youve Landed Yourself in the Wrong Career - 3 Tips for Recognizing When You've Landed Yourself in the Wrong Career

Discovering you’ve been in the wrong career can be a distressing experience. With that in mind, try to focus on the fact that you managed to recognize when you did that the career you held was wrong for you. Some people will go their entire lives without ever realizing their job and career were the reasons for their unhappiness and high stress levels.

To that end, being in the wrong career can lead to numerous health impacts, which makes escaping a bad career match important. Studies from sources have attributed weight gain, stress, and loss of sleep all to a bad career match, which shows how important it is to try and get out of your career when you can. 

Doing so, however, requires knowledge of the common signs that you’ve ended up in the wrong career. Fortunately, these signs are apparent and below are three tips for recognizing these indicators.

1. Can You Focus at Work?


Having a lack of focus at work is a common problem among employees and you certainly wouldn’t be alone in claiming that Monday’s are the worst day of the work. However, if you can’t seem to ever focus at your job and dedicating yourself to even one single task is difficult, it’s possible you may be in the wrong career.

To really determine whether or not the cause of your problems is a bad career match, narrow down what specifically is making you lose your focus. For perspective, try to answer the question of what motivates you and look deeply at your answer to see if it lines up with what you are doing now. If not, you need to begin asking yourself why you are even at the job you have now.

Lacking focus at work and being bored by your tasks is a problem all employees face. In fact, Inc. referenced a study by Udemy that found up to 43 percent of employees are actually bored at work. Look deeper than your surface level boredom and lack of focus, however, to determine if you feel this way all the time and what the cause may be.

2. Look at Where You See Yourself in Five Years


One of the best ways to determine whether or not the career you hold is right for you is to look at the future of your life. While figuring out the specificites is likely impossible, given the uncertainty of life, look at your career goals and where you want to be in five years. Should you be really passionate about the company and job you have now, then congratulations. You have probably landed a career that is a good fit for you.

For most people, when asked about where they see themselves in the future, the answer is not often the job they have now. Far too often, people sacrifice their goals and ambitions simply because a job presented itself at a certain time in their life. 

Whether you just graduated from college and took the first opportunity on the table, or if you were pressured into a career by friends and family, it’s important to never settle for a job that you don’t actually want.

Answer the question of where you want to see yourself and build a roadmap for how to get there. There are a number of online degree programs that can teach you the skills needed to launch a new career. Technology has made it easier than ever to switch paths whenever you desire.

3. Are You a Complainer?


The final, potentially largest, sign that you are in the wrong career is if you are the friend always complaining about your job after work hours. As with being bored, there’s nothing wrong with having the occasional gripe about your job and the duties it entails. Consistently disliking those tasks and complaining, however, is a strong indicator that you may be on the wrong path.

Even if you don’t know what career you want, there are options you can pursue which will help you make a more educated decision about which path is best for you. Complaining about work constantly is a great way to annoy yourself and your friends, but should be taken as one of the biggest indicators that something is amiss with your career choice. 


Countless people end up in the wrong career at some point during their life and career switches are not uncommon in the slightest. One of the best reasons for leaving a job is if the career you are in does not match with your skills or interests, as this shows a high level of self-reflection and awareness of your capabilities. 

Don’t settle for a career that will only lead to your misery and dissatisfaction, rather focus on finding a job opportunity that resonates with you deep in your heart.

artur - 3 Tips for Recognizing When You've Landed Yourself in the Wrong Career

This is a guest post by Artur Meyster. Artur is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech. Email – [email protected]

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