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Managing Expectations of Career from Loved Ones

managing expectations
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Managing Expectations of Career from Loved Ones

Doing what is expected of us is something that affects every human being. From a young age, our development is watched carefully by our families and teachers.  If you don’t walk by a certain age, everybody worries, if you don’t have perfect handwriting by age 8, you are made to feel you will never succeed, and the list goes on. It’s part of the human condition.  It is no different when we look at career expectations. We are all unique, we are all different, we all develop at our own pace and we are all awesome in our own way. We just need to find a career that supports what we want.

When we leave the school gate, everybody has an opinion about what we should do for a career. Oops the dreaded ‘should’ word. This word raises its ugly head whenever we feel or are told by others what direction we ought to take. Sometimes the voice of others is louder than our own voice leaving us to fulfil somebody elses dream. While those closest to us want the best for us sometimes their judgement can be clouded by lost dreams and their own insecurities.

So how do we negotiate career expectations when it comes to what we want from our career lives.

Firstly, you need to work out how loud you want your voice to be heard. To honour who you are, you need to truly listen to what you want first. If you are not happy, it’s like a domino effect. Career dissatisfaction can ripple through your self-esteem, self-efficacy, mental health and relationships with those closest to you.

Secondly, allow career conversations to open up with the very people you seem to have expectation conflicts with. By doing so you may encourage them to face their lost dreams and insecurities and start to be honest about which direction you would like to take and why. Sometimes people want to avoid this conflict in the short term but in the long term, close relationships can be seriously damaged.

Thirdly, if you have responsibilities whether it is financial or family, you need to start the negotiation process and look at all your options. This involves looking at the costs and benefits of everything you are considering as a career choice. The aim at the end of this process is to get a win- win situation for everybody involved.

Finally, don’t underestimate the support you get from those close to you when you make important career decisions. It is vitally important to your success. Acknowledging and talking about career expectations with those close to you helps others understand what you need and hopefully in return it may help them. Managing expectations of Career then becomes an easy process.