While there is no denying that a good career can be part of a fulfilling life, it is also vital to avoid overestimating the significance of your career. Here are ten reasons why your career may not be so important after all.
1. It is dangerous to pin everything on your career
Even if you are extremely talented, there is no guarantee that you will always have a secure job. Luck has a huge role to play in career success, and if you believe your career is the most important thing in your life then you will be utterly destroyed if you lose your job. For reasons of self-preservation, you should try to cultivate a more balanced existence.
2. There are other sources of self-esteem
Many people are raised to believe that their worth is defined by achievement, and this family message can lead to an obsession with career. However, if you critically reflect on this issue, you will realize that there are other reasons to think of yourself as valuable. For example, how you treat others is arguably a much more important measure of personal success.
3. Dying people often regret prioritizing their careers
Interviews with people who are terminally ill typically reveal that career does not seem very important in hindsight. In fact, those who are dying often report regrets about the amount of time they spent working and say that they wish they had spent more time on relationships and recreational activities.
4. Most careers do not change the world
It is easy to take a rather myopic perspective on your own career, treating it like the center of the universe. However, relatively few people actually work in jobs that lead to positive and substantial global change. It is useful to take an objective look at your field and acknowledge that while it is important to you, it is not the most important thing in the world.
5. Some people are perfectly happy without careers
Since some individuals (such as stay-at-home parents) feel entirely satisfied and fulfilled without pursuing a career, it follows that a career is not necessary for happiness. Considering all of the benefits enjoyed by such people can help you see why careers are not so important.
6. Relationships often suffer because of work
Plenty of separations and divorces result from a poor work-life balance, as an obsession with career can lead to neglecting a romantic relationship. Realizing that your career is less valuable than your partner can ensure that you nurture the relationship and give it the attention it deserves.
7. Many people do not stick with their first career
It is possible that your current career will not be the one you are pursuing in 10 or 20 years. Imagining that your career will last for your whole life can lead you to feel confused and displaced if you do change to a different line of work. As a result, it is sensible to avoid believing that your career is an indispensable part of your identity.
8. Working too much can damage your health
If you are utterly focused on your career, you may become chronically stressed, suffer from a lack of sleep or end up with injuries from adopting the same posture too often. Taking regular breaks from work boosts your chances of staying in good physical condition.
9. Hobbies are good for you
Making time to pursue hobbies can keep you feeling energized, passionate, and creative. A willingness to admit that your career is not so important can actually lead to better job performance as well as increased well-being.
10. Focusing on your work may inhibit personal development
Finally, you might sacrifice personal growth if you invest all of your energy in your career. Wise people tend to make time to explore their feelings, reflect on their needs, and identify areas of personal development that need work.
If you have an enjoyable, satisfying career then you probably find that it enhances your quality of life. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your career defines your life or your worth. As indicated above, there are many more important things in life.