My friends, family, and church community have always told me to never be “unequally yoked.” “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership can righteousness have with wickedness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14. They said never settle for any type of relationship: my relationships should reflect where I want to go in life. Well, I listened – finally. But nobody ever told me not to settle in my career.
What is career settling? Career settling is choosing a career because of convenience. The job may look good because everybody wants it; it might make you feel good for a short period of time because of the reputable name that you can add to your résumé. It may also fill your pockets because of the attractive compensation packages. But here is the most important question you should ask yourself: does it bring out the best in you? Does it stretch you and make you a person worth becoming?
Some people choose jobs and careers solely because of the money. Don’t be ashamed. That’s what most 20 something year olds are told to do when they graduate from a university covered in student loan payments, right? You want to know who is putting the most cash in your pockets. Some students who were raised with limited resources are told to look at the list of fields with the highest paying salaries in order to define their target job.
I must admit that I studied accounting and finance because I knew these degrees could lead to lucrative careers, but I also knew that my in-demand skill set could have a greater impact on marginalized communities and provide me with endless career opportunities. I think it was a smart career move to spend my college years and money on a degree that would yield a high return on investment. After all, that is the purpose of college right? We want to develop new skills and gain access to opportunities that we didn’t have before. I don’t regret my choice of a major at all. The hardest question I had to ask myself is, “What company did I want to build a future with?” As much as I wanted to choose a job based on the highest financial benefits, my heart couldn’t let me sit with that decision. I chose the company that provided me with great opportunities to learn, grow, and expand my potential. It was the place where I enjoyed spending time with my co-workers and was given mentors who were genuinely interested in helping me to navigate corporate life.
On the other hand, I had friends who would boast about their beautiful financial perks and complain about the unhealthy work environment. They followed the money and had the chance to live luxurious lifestyles because of it. If these are the actions we choose to take, why isn’t it socially acceptable for women to marry men solely for the financial convenience? It’s just like dating a man because of the money in his pockets, right? Now we call those women gold diggers when it comes to relationships, but we call the women who chase the money in careers ambitious. Can I say double standard?
Are you one of those people who are settling in your career? If you are saying yes to any of these 3 red flags listed below, you may be settling for less than the best in your career:
- You are not able to fully be yourself and completely authentic in your career.
Some people wear a mask and hide who they really are when they enter the workplace. They feel like they have to watch what they say and how they say it. They are so concerned about making the best impression that they slowly become a carbon copy of everyone else in the office. It’s hurting them inside. They wish they could release who they truly are but they have no idea how they would be accepted or if they would be accepted. They just want to share the best of themselves but don’t know how.
- You feel underappreciated and undervalued.
No matter what some people do, it’s never good enough. They even invest extra time into producing the highest results but it still doesn’t meet expectations. They’re at the point where they don’t know if they can make a valuable contribution in the workplace. They’re losing their voice in the workplace because they don’t even think that their voice matters.
- You don’t build valuable relationships.
Do you look forward to going to work so that you can engage in meaningful conversations with your colleagues? Work is about connections. You have to put yourself in an environment where you can be around people that you want to grow with. The people you surround yourself with provides a glimpse into the future you are creating. Have you ever heard the saying, “You are a combination of the people that you hang around most”? Choose wisely. Choose relationships that take you from where you are to where you want to be.
Most people settle in their career because they don’t want to put in the work to create the type of life that aligns with what they truly want. It takes intention and strategy to create a rewarding career. It takes a never-ending commitment to you and your dreams. It will require you to do the things you are too afraid to do. It may require late nights and early mornings. You may have to make some sacrifices. But aren’t you worth it? Don’t you deserve the most rewarding career experience you can imagine?
Don’t be unequally yoked with a company that doesn’t believe in your mission and vision. Choose a company that matches your values. The same responsibility that you have in your relationships is the same standard of care that should be given to your career.
Are you ready to take steps towards a fulfilling career? Start by updating your LinkedIn profile. Your dream opportunity could be looking for you. They just don’t know that you exist yet. Download your free LinkedIn cheatsheet here!
Are you settling in your career? What do you need in order to find the career of your dreams? I would love to hear from you! Share your thoughts below.