Vincy Workplace
February 21, 2014

Career misfits

You’ve spent what seems to be your entire adult life studying to be a lawyer or doctor or maybe you got a business degree. Regardless, you’ve worked for 10 years, maybe even 15, and you’ve recently been able to admit to yourself and your friends and colleagues that you felt pressured into your current career path. Maybe you’ve also realized it’s time to consider a change.{{more}}

But, what do you do?

Family pressures often succeed in forcing round pegs into square holes (or vice versa). In fact, too many young people are making that mistake as we speak. They feel obligated — maybe as the firstborn or as the “most mature” or as the first in the family to have furthered their education — to pursue what the family deems a respectable career. Meanwhile, deep down inside, that person’s God-given talents are being suffocated or ignored. These young people will eventually turn out to be co-workers who feel their abilities are being wasted.

But, what can they do?

If you are a “career misfit,” or if someone you know is a career misfit, here are some steps that can be taken to address the issue.

Start small, but start the change. Depending on your passion, your age, and your life responsibilities, it might not be too late. If your new career requires you to go back to school, start taking classes on a part-time basis to get familiar with the field. If possible, you could even take classes online from a reputable institution at your own convenience, so you can continue to hold on to your day job.

Gather around “like” minds. Seek out professional relationships with people who are already in the field and explore with them what possibilities are available to you. These connections will also enable you to cut your learning curve and get a running start. Although SVG does not have many industry-specific professional associations, if you go online you’ll find that “virtual” support is available from numerous sources.

Consider a part-time job. Can you enter your chosen field with a part-time position and begin to gain some experience? If no one will pay you, consider volunteering to get information and exposure.

Start over. If you are financially secure, feeling brave, and have a well-thought-out career transition plan, go ahead – quit the misfitted job and start over. In today’s environment, many people start new careers at 45, 50, or even 60 years of age. Just don’t go on a wild goose chase and put your family in financial hardship because you feel you may have missed your opportunity.

It may seem like a long process, and it might be; and now might not be the right time to make the “big” jump, but the goal is to get moving, so take a step. Don’t live your entire life as a career misfit.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to

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