Coping With Career Regret – Career Point Kenya

By Perminus Wainaina

“I wish I had not taken the job for the money.” “I wish I had quit earlier.” “I wish I had taken advantage of that opportunity.” “I wish I had taken more initiative.”

Have you ever said any of these things to yourself?

You are not alone.

“I made the wrong choices in my career and now my peers are doing way better. Regret is eating me alive, how can I get over it?”

Linet graduated at 21, started working as an admin when she was 23, and worked in the same company until she was 27. This was seven years ago. At the time, all she wanted was a source of income. She did not have the desire to get promoted, or even ask for better pay.

“I was living from paycheck to paycheck, but I was satisfied and even comfortable with the idea that I could see myself working there for a long time,” she says.

This was until her boss hired someone else to take her role, with better pay. She decided to quit.

At 27, she left a company she had worked at for four years without anything to show for it. After three months, she received another job offer for a similar role. She worked here for two years, where interest in wanting more was sparked.

Just when she thought of trying for a promotion within the company, the Corona pandemic hit and she, together with her colleagues, was sent on indefinite unpaid leave. After six months, she decided to quit.

This was a huge risk I took, especially because many companies were downsizing, and she felt she was older which could work to her disadvantage.

“I decided to throw myself into the job search pool and aim for bigger companies, sometimes even applying for jobs that were above my practical skills.

I constantly questioned whether I had made the right decision, especially because many of my friends were doing better than me. I constantly thought about what the possibilities in my career would have been if only I had self-esteem and drive early in my career,” she went on saying when we met during our career mentorship program.

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