It's good to have career ambitions and goals. But sometimes those goals are not really viable, and it's better to pursue a more achievable path. Otherwise you will start to feel a sense of failure when you don't get where you want to be. These are some of the reasons why your career ambitions may not be realistic …
One reason why your career ambitions may not be realistic is if you want to go into an extremely competitive field. You may have an excellent academic record but you will be competing against hundreds of candidates with equally impeccable qualifications. You may be one of the lucky few, but it's wise to have other options in mind if you don't succeed.
Many careers such as finance or the media are centered around major cities. You must be prepared to move to one of these locations if you want to work in those fields. If you don't live in a location with ample job opportunities in your field and you don't want to move, your career plans are unlikely to work out.
Some careers demand total commitment and long hours. They leave little time for family or leisure. Are you prepared to prioritise your career above all else? If you want a greater balance between work and other aspects of your life, you really shouldn't enter a career that requires total dedication.
We'd all love to walk into a great career that pays well. But it's just not possible without studying and training. This costs a lot of money. Can you afford the necessary financial commitment? You may have to spend years on lower pay working your way up. This may not be viable if you can't get student loans, have a family to support, or high living costs.
Frankly, you may not have the necessary talent, especially if you want to go into a field like writing or performing. Even if you do, success is far from guaranteed - many very talented actors are barely getting by. Some people do succeed in spite of having little talent, but there's no sense in dreaming your life away and wishing you could make it big when it's just not going to happen.
Sometimes, your ambitions just don't match your abilities. You might love the idea of being a veterinarian. But if you're not good at sciences or you're squeamish about blood, it isn't going to work. Be realistic about whether you have the necessary attributes to make your ambitions work.
Finally, ask yourself if you truly have the commitment needed to achieve your ambitions. If you don't, then it's time to start thinking about some new career plans. Many careers need total dedication and a willingness to persist through the various challenges and setbacks. Without that, you're just wasting your time when you could be doing something more realistic.
Having plans for your career is definitely worthwhile. It'll help you grow as a person, and since we spend so much time at work it's important that we do something we like. But do be realistic about what you want to do, or you'll grow frustrated at your inability to achieve what you want. What is your fantasy career?