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3 Tips to Conquer Career Regret

Many of us have experienced some form of career regret, and in an article for Lifehacker, Priscilla Claman offers three tips to turn the "should haves" with "what ifs." This strategy will help quell the negativity by forcing you to think through various career paths and forecast potential opportunities.

Many of us have experienced some form of career regret, and in an article for Lifehacker, Priscilla Claman offers three tips to turn the “should haves” with “what ifs.” This strategy will help quell the negativity by forcing you to think through various career paths and forecast potential opportunities.

Here’s the three-step process:

  1. Brainstorm with trusted allies. You’re looking for friends and colleagues who are creative and empowering rather than negative and snarky. You’ll need their external perspective to help you think through your career regrets.
  2. Name the regret and explore it. After outlining your specific career regret — not going to grad school, for example — Claman recommends outlining as many “what if” questions about that regret as possible. These statements can cover career opportunities, areas of focus, volunteer positions, and anything else you and your brainstorming team can come up with.
  3. Selectively explore the questions from No. 2. Look for possibilities that you can act on. For example, if your career regret is not going back to grad school, you could explore free a la carte courses from sites like Coursera or iTunes U, or broaden your horizons by regularly perusing TED.com, or consider night school and online studies to pursue a degree in your free time. Sometimes just the process of thinking through these possibilities is rewarding — no tangible action required.

Have you ever experienced career regret? How did you conquer it?

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(Photo credit: Jason Howie/Flickr)

Marissa Brassfield
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