(c) REUTERS/Paul Hackett
Let’s start treating our careers as a lifelong experiment instead of a preordained slog. Find experiences that allow you to quickly test assumptions about your career interests. Every job, every experience, every place you travel, is a chance to learn something new about yourself, what interests you (and just as importantly what doesn’t), what you’re good at, what types of people you want to surround yourself with, and what type of impact you want to have on the world.
Early in my up-until-now career I’ve had four different jobs (albeit in the same sector) during the first three years. Yes, some people labelled me “a jobhopper” because of that. Though, if there’s one thing I learnt during those first few years it’s that fun beats money. My “best” employer up until then was employer #4, even though I took a salary cut when compared to employer #3. Fun beats money.
You can only thrive at your job if you like your job, independent of the salary you get (*). If you don’t like your job, or are stuck in your job, you must quit. Even if that means that you’ll earn a little less than before.
(*) However, do make sure that the earned salary reaches the threshold for supporting your normal daily life spendings, so that you don’t need to worry about financial things. That way you can thrive at home too.