Everybody is experiencing career struggles in any part of your life. However, when you first start working there are some struggles you’ll only experience at that moment. In this crucial phase of your life, it would be a shame to let this guide your career path. Here are the 5 most common early career struggles in your twenties and how you can handle those.
1. The need to make an immediate impact
Alright, let’s start with the first career struggle. You just finished college after enjoying life as a student and found a job right away. Well done! You seem to have it all figured out and are well on target on the so-called ‘ladder of life’. However, after 3 months since starting the job you are not feeling so excited anymore. The enthousiasme from the first few weeks is gone, how come?
Well, of course you won’t always feel as excited as when you first start something new. But this phase is a common struggle for young professionals in their twenties. The reason for this is that there is a mindset that we should make an impact right away. Our generation is very patient, who can blame us? With all the instant gratification around the corner? I mean, if our package can arrive on the same day, we sure can make an impact within three months.
Some things in life just take time, we can’t rush it. The most important thing is to have a job and career that you are passionate about. Next to this, it is crucial to take rest and reflect on certain periods. What are you doing? And why? This way you can see that you may already have made an impact, not as big as you hoped maybe but still, progress is progress. So, don’t rush things. Let it come to you and who knows what you may discover!
2. Missing sense of purpose
Another common early career struggle is missing a sense of purpose in what we are doing. Within our generation there is a belief that everything we do needs to have meaning. For instance, it should contribute to the environment, or help kids in africa.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having purpose. On the contrary, it is maybe the most important thing in life. Just don’t look for something for the sake of looking for it. Not having a purpose is not bad. Most people find it after experiencing and trying a lot of things. So also here, take time to discover your true purpose and follow that path. Find purpose and then a career that suits it, not the other way around.
3. No career direction
As described in the example of the first career struggle, we immediately go to work after college. We dive into the job so fast that we are not even thinking about what we are doing. But this is not only the case for our career. It starts at the point where we decide to go to college and what sector we want to study about. Most of us are not mature enough to make these decisions at a young age and end up doing something they do not like.
What can we do about this? As soon as we realize this, get out of the rat race and find your passion. The longer you stay in this, the harder it is to quit your job. Once you have a house and a family to take care of, you are not only responsible for yourself anymore. Don’t wait too long.
4. Knowing Your Worth
This is maybe the toughest struggle. At the beginning of your career it is so hard to know how much you’re worth. You have no idea what your salary indication could be and also no idea of the secondary term and conditions. Truth to be told, there is no easy solution to this.
However, there are a few things you can do. Start researching what the standard is for a certain job title. Next to this, get talks going with several companies. Don’t settle for the first offer. Once you have a few offers from different companies, you can then lay the offers next to each other and get a better indication of your worth.
5. Switching jobs
Another struggle is the constant job hopping. It is also a result of all the struggles I stated before. However, there are other reasons as well. Such as the current market and the social pressure.
There currently are 1 million more job openings than there are people looking for work, as stated by CNBC. With this surplus in vacancies it is easy to go find another job and ask for more money there. That’s the second reason most people look for another job. They hear that peers are making more money and they want to climb the ladder as quickly as possible.
When you feel like you are not making an impact or missing a sense of purpose it is not that crazy that you are going to start to look for it someplace else. Unfortunately it has the same result, only months later. This will end in a continuous cycle where true happiness & fulfillment is something you will never find.
What to do about these early career struggles?
I hear you think, what can we do about all this? Well, the answer is quite simple. Don’t rush life! Take time and have faith that everything will contribute to your journey and will be alright. Is it also okay to not be a millionaire in your twenties. So, take time and stop looking at others. If you follow your own path, your career will follow too.
For more career article, check out the career category.