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Why You Should Celebrate Feeling Confused in Your Career

By Ignite Career Center of JCS

Confusion can feel uncomfortable and even scary. But, if you are at a point in your career where you are feeling confused, that might actually be a good thing! What it means is that you’re ready for something new, something different. And that you are on the cusp of change, growth, and evolution.  

Feeling confused means you are being an active participant in your life. Confusion happens when you try to reconcile new pieces of information or realizations with your existing knowledge and/or biases. Tension between these pieces can create uncertainty, fear, and doubt. However, this tension, if managed productively, can lead to learning, revelation, and excitement. 

Here are some common questions that arise during this stage of career confusion: 

  • Am I happy at my job? 
  • Does the office culture still suit me? 
  • Do my values align with the company’s mission and actions? 
  • Do I want to grow in my current career? 
  • If I switch careers, what should I pursue? 
  • What should I do if my degree isn’t helping me find work? 
  • Should I prioritize salary or passion when choosing a job? 
  • Will my family or peers judge my career choices? 
  • Is my career goal realistic?  
  • Should I ask for help in navigating my career path? 

Those are a lot of questions to consider! If any of those resonate, don’t despair. It would be easy to feel panicked and shut down these thoughts. But it would certainly be better if you were to reframe your attitude towards them.

Instead of ignoring your career musings, try enjoying their presence. Get curious, and without judgement, observe where your thoughts take you. For example, reflect on these questions: 

  • How does it make you feel to wonder whether you are happy at your job? 
  • What feelings come up when you compare your values to your company’s mission and actions? 
  • What’s your honest, gut reaction to asking yourself whether you’re ready to assume more responsibility in your career? Are you only considering it because you feel like you “should”?  

It’s worthwhile to allow yourself to play, even when it comes to your career. Give yourself permission to experiment with possibilities in your mind or through conversations with those you trust. It doesn’t mean you have to act on anything immediately. It doesn’t mean you have to quit your job or lose your income. It just means that you can entertain a different reality, see how it feels, and then determine whether you want to do anything about it.  

For the time being, you can celebrate saying: 

  • I don’t know yet!
  • I’m not sure!
  • Maybe!

Eventually, you might realize: 

  • You love your job and company.
  • You’re ready to ask for a promotion.
  • You want to pursue a passion project outside of your job.
  • You want to obtain a certification that will help you do your job better.
  • You need to find a side gig to expedite your financial goals.
  • You need to stay put for now and make a long-term, realistic plan to switch career paths down the line.

Too often we focus on results rather than process. But whatever path ends up being right for you, you can celebrate your journey — even if it’s a confusing one! 

Of course, if you feel like you need a little extra support along the way, Ignite Career Coaches can help guide you.

 

Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the Ignite Career Center, a program of Jewish Community Services, can help you go further and get there faster. Our highly experienced Career Coaches provide individuals of all backgrounds and abilities with the customized services and tools they need to stand out from the competition. To learn more, visit ignitecareercenter.com or call 410-466-9200.

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Jewish Community Services and the Ignite Center of JCS are closed Monday, July 4th for Independence Day.
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