We all view our world through a frame made up of our past experiences, teachings from our caregivers, and assumptions we’ve made. It’s our “truth.” Often, though, we place limitations on ourselves without even realizing it.
Examples of career assumptions people often make include:
- Taking the next step up the ladder to your boss’s job is the only advancement option available within your current corporation
- Being successful and having a decent work/life balance are mutually exclusive
- Moving into a new industry or sector will require major sacrifices (e.g., retraining, less salary, taking steps “backward,” etc.)
- There is no way to make money doing what you want to do (this is usually stated with great authority by those who have done no research!)
To make sure you’re not artificially limiting yourself, make sure you have people in your life who challenge you. When you are thinking about your options, challenge yourself. Ask yourself if you are absolutely positive that a statement is true, or if it’s just that you don’t have any knowledge that contradicts that statement? Our perceptions of our options often determine the path we take.
It’s natural to surround yourself with like-minded people whose assumptions are similar to your own. However, to make sure you take advantage of all the options available to you, make sure you stretch your thinking.