In the last ten years I’ve worked as a Financial Analyst for five different companies. I had an interview today for a potential Company #6 and during the interview the CEO said something to the effect of, “Do you ever wonder if you’re in the wrong career?” He wasn’t just armed with my resume; I’d completed a series of personality tests prior to our meeting and he had reviewed the results.
“There are a number of outliers here that I’m concerned about,” he said. “For example, on the intuition vs. reasoning portion of the test the average finance and accounting professional scores about 25 (indicating high reasoning)…you scored 85 (indicating very high intuition). What do you make of that?”
What he couldn’t know is that I’ve gone around in circles for years about whether or not I’m in the right career field, and hearing his assessment confirmed my negative self-talk: I’m a failure in my career and I’m just not cut out for it. Which isn’t completely true. I’ve always quit my jobs; I’ve never been fired for poor performance. So I’ve not failed in my career field, but in a way my career field has failed me. As a Myers-Briggs ENFP I’m supposedly better suited for consulting or counseling work; finance and accounting involves many aspects of work I don’t enjoy.
So the CEO I interviewed with today may be right; maybe another Financial Analyst position is not what I need. But what the hell else am I supposed to do?
I’ve got two degrees in Business Administration. I don’t want to go back to school because I’m still paying off the loan from my first degree. The only jobs I’ve ever held were in finance. All of my education and training has been to pursue and enhance my finance career. But here I am ten years into a career I’ve never really enjoyed or gotten much satisfaction out of.
This is a “first world problem”, I’m sure. People around the world work in jobs they hate because they need a way to put food on the table. Why should I be any different? Maybe I shouldn’t be…but it seems to be obvious to employers that I’m not in the right career, so finance may no longer be a viable option.
What advice I would give a friend in a similar situation…what advice would I give to you if you came to me with a similar problem? I suppose I would start by saying I believe people can be “better suited” for some jobs than others. The fact that I’ve spent a decade trying to “make it” in finance seems to me to indicate that I tried quite hard rather than quitting early on. I would tell you to pray earnestly about it for some time, and to talk to people who know you very well. I might even suggest going to see a career counselor to get “professional” help. And if additional education is what you need to pursue your new career, I’d tell you to do everything you can to make that happen.
Because if you’re like me and you’re in the wrong career, you need to make a move. If it’s possible for you to change an aspect of your life that will make you significantly happier and more loving and effective as a human being, you should absolutely make that change.