The reality of your career choice has set in by the time you reach your 30s. This is the age that most people have their first A-ha moment that it's time to get serious and choose their 'real' career. If you're not into what you're doing or excelling in your field, this is a wakeup call to rethink your initial career decision.
At this point you've had five to ten years to test-drive your career path and you may be wondering what else you could be doing. If you've already done some job hopping and still haven't found your way, chances are you're in the wrong ballpark or career all together. If you were in the right ballpark, you'd know it by now.
If you've hit your 30s and feel like you are in the wrong career, don't beat yourself up—you're not alone. Most of us make career decisions before we're ready. Without enough accurate information about our strongest talents or where we fit in the career world, the best we can do in our 20s is wing it and hope for the best. Nearly 70% of college grads say they did a lousy job of choosing their major.
Neuroscientists are finding that when young adults face complex choices, especially career choices, they take short cuts by following the crowd or overly romanticizing the potential outcome. As people near their 30s, the romance wears off and the reality of a bad career fit hits like a brick.
The future rarely works itself out and a trial and error approach to career change can be costly. There's a better way.