Have you ever experienced a period of career uncertainty?

Grace Su July 21, 2014 3 mins read

The majority of people have, at least once throughout their professional lives, experienced a period of uncertainty. This period may appear at different stages of your career.

Everyone has certain plans or ideals in regards to their career path, but the distraction created by certain external factors may lead them astray, such as in the following typical scenarios:

Scenario 1: Freshly graduated, with no experience in the real world.

In a world where the pressure to choose one specific profession is becoming greater and greater, fresh graduates with no societal experience not only have very few connections and channels through which to find their ideal job—they also lack career advisors who can give them appropriate advice. In recent times, students who have recently graduated often suffer from this type of uncertainty: due to a lack of forethought and guiding experience, they don’t know what they want, they don’t know what job is best for them, and so they indiscriminately participate in job interviews for all kinds of professions. This uncertainty may lead certain graduates to jump from one job to another—an unideal tactic for anyone wishing to succeed in the workplace.

Scenario 2: Not receiving a raise or a promotion after having work in a position for a couple of years.

The majority of people who have newly entered the workplace have great expectations in regards to the way in which their career path will unfold. They believe that, within a short period of time, they will learn a lot and will be given many new responsibilities. However, it’s a fact that, during the first couple of years that they are in the workplace, the majority of people will still only be responsible for ground-level operations; contrary to their initial expectations, they won’t have many opportunities for promotions or raises. During this period, many people will be uncertain as to whether or not they should change jobs. However, these people should know that one to two years’ experience is simply not enough time to judge whether or not a job has potential. Should they persevere for another couple of years, they may learn more, and there may very well be greater opportunities that await them.

Scenario 3: Hesitation between the security of a stable job, and the attraction of switching positions.

When you find your first stable job, it is normal that you consider the prospect of switching positions. There are many different factors that may tempt you: a higher salary, a seemingly better position, a desire to change industries, etc. On the other hand, the familiarity of the environment in which you’ve already worked for so long may make you reluctant to leave. “Should I stay, or should I go?” may become the source of much internal conflict. However, if you can clarify exactly what it is that you want, this question will solve itself.

Constantly jumping from one position to another has become a common workplace phenomenon. Everyone experiences periods of uncertainty at one stage or another in their careers for all sorts of reasons: a tiresome job, an unsatisfactory salary and an unlikeable boss. The decisions you make at each stage of your professional life will inevitably have an influence (whether it be big or small) on the direction your career takes. Therefore, when a period of uncertainty or the temptation to switch positions arises, it’s important to think hard about what your ultimate goals and expectations are: that way, you can assure that each step you take will contribute to realizing your dreams.

Grace Su's picture
Senior Manager | Financial Services Recruitment
gsu@morganmckinley.com