What Career Confusion Looks Like At Three Key Stages Of Life  


Confusion is second nature to humans. Sometimes, it involves the smallest of issues, and sometimes it involves life-changing decisions. Things can get a little tricky in a scenario that involves your career, because confusion can strike at any point in your life, whether you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s. This primarily happens because many people are apprehensive of moving out of their comfort zone.

Each stage of life brings different challenges and concerns when it comes to pursuing a fulfilling career. On this note, I will shed some light on what causes career confusion at different stages of life, and how to eliminate them.


Career confusion in the 20s:

At 16, Melissa Hobbes had her career path sorted out. She anticipated that in a few years she is going to be a criminal lawyer because she saw both her parents donning the ‘black and white.’ She thought she was cut out for a career in law and it would be a “stable” choice for her. She cleared her LSAT without opting for help in writing assignments. But, by the time she was in her 20s, she started to realize that she didn’t quite enjoy studying law and her true calling was somewhere else. She was lost.

Like Melissa, many people in this age bracket feel that they are behind most of their peers. They feel that their peers are focused and planned (two attributes they definitely lack). Here are some tips for dealing with the confusion if you are a 20-something.

Source: Pixabay

  • Seek help when you need

When you are not confident about your choice of career, it is always better to ask for help from someone who can guide you in the right direction.

Now, you need to make sure that you choose someone who holds enough knowledge in the specific career that you think would be fit for you. Most of the time, experience plays a huge role in guiding you to make better career decisions.

  • Focus on your strengths

Prepare a list of positives and negatives of the career option you have chosen. Think about how you can eliminate the negatives of your decision if it seems manageable, or else you can rethink about your career option.

  • Be willing to move through the way

Once you have set your goal and weighed down the pros and cons, you can go for whichever career you have chosen for yourself. After all, 20s is the right age to answer to your calling.


Combating career confusion in your 30s:

Brandon McKinnon had a stable job as an accountant at a local bank. After a decade of being in the middle of the grind, he started to lose interest. This was when he started contemplating a career switch.

Feeling confused about your career in your 30s is more common than you think. This happens because people at this age bracket start realizing that a successful career is not only about making more money.

Many people in their 30s feel that their job is mundane, with no excitement and nothing new to offer. Such feelings often result in unfulfilled job roles that further propel their confusion.

Some of them opt for higher studies or simply switch a job just for a change of environment. Others set out on a path to start their own venture once they are financially stable.

Before making any decision about switching a job or starting your company, you should ponder over the pointers mentioned below:

Source: Pixabay

  • Do you still love what you do?

Ask this question to yourself and know what you want from your career. If your answer is affirmative, then it is best to rethink your decision to leave your job. This is because even if you move into a new setting, things might get mundane after some time. So, it is best not to take a hasty decision.

  • Are you open to face challenges?

Regardless of whether you are thinking of switching jobs or starting a new venture, ask yourself if you are prepared for the challenges ahead.

No matter which direction you move in your career, you will certainly encounter challenging situations. You need to decide whether those challenges are worth risking everything you have or not.

  • Are you ready to start afresh?

Whether you are switching a job or becoming an entrepreneur, starting afresh is a different ball game altogether. That’s because if you don’t have a starting point, you will be stuck doing the same mundane tasks every day and accomplish nothing.

Set an objective and chase after something that aligns with your current goals. Also, ensure that you have a nice new environment that allows you to feel content and happy.


Battling career confusion in your 40s:

Clarence Boyd was 45 when he started feeling dissociated with the job that he continued for over two decades. People around him called it a midlife crisis. After years of working hard to build a career that he hoped would be satisfying and sustainable, it turned out to be the exact opposite of those things. At an age when he was supposed to have his life sorted out, he was clueless and confused.

Many people in their 40s feel that they have plenty to lose if they want to reconsider their career choices. By this time, many people have a family that is dependent on them. In addition, there are credit card debt, expensive mortgages, and other responsibilities that make changing course at 40 extremely daunting. The feeling of being clueless at this age can be depressing and confusing.

Source: Pixabay

Given below is some advice that can provide clarity.

  • Stop and reflect on who you are, what you are capable of and make a list of the things you have achieved.
  • Let go of the ideas, thoughts and behaviors that are pulling you down.
  • Never ignore your visions and dreams in
  • Explore and invest time on the things that excite you the most, with doable (risk-free) micro-steps. This will help you determine whether you wish to pursue these things for the long haul or not.
  • Consider creating SMART goals. Develop a concrete plan, with specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound goals that will help you move forward in the right path.

Parting thoughts

Your career is and will always be a major aspect of your life and confusion is entirely normal. Ultimately, you must pursue what is best for your career and your life. You can accomplish everything you want with a little bit of clarity and insight.



Alley John
Senior Marketing Manager in Australia

Alley John is a senior marketing manager at a reputed multinational firm in Australia. He has obtained his Master’s degree in Management from the University of Melbourne. He is also a noted member of MyAssignmenthelp help for the past three years.