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Feeling Overwhelmed by your Own Potential

Nov 21, 2022
Feeling Overwhelmed by your Own Potential

So, you’re looking to begin (or progress) your career and you don’t know where to start.

We can guarantee that you’re not the only person who’s felt like this.

Feeling overwhelmed by your potential isn’t to do with having false confidence or even knowing what you want to do. In fact, it’s the complete opposite.

The jobs market has exploded over the past two years, and after a global pandemic, access to remote opportunities, and many organisations expanding their talent pools and how they look for great people - it’s created a somewhat unnatural amount of opportunity for candidates: junior through to senior.

The paradox of choice

Although choice and creation of new roles are excellent for the development of organisations, individuals, and the broader economy - the paradox of choice is a phenomenon which can sometimes cause more damage than good. 

It’s proven that when we have too many choices - whether this is on a menu when out for dinner or on a jobs board when deciding what path we want our career to take, we become paralysed at the possibilities of “what if”

We can guarantee that most people would prefer to have three options over ten, but because the latter has become the norm - many individuals may be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of opportunity out there. You begin to question yourself and assess what things could look like for each career path, which can become mentally exhausting and thus detrimental to your success and also mental health!

Self-doubt and imposter syndrome

This can be a contributing factor to feeling overwhelmed by your own potential. Potential is defined as something that could be, and if you’re someone who is already struggling with self-doubt or imposter syndrome, taking the next step can feel that little bit harder. Self-doubt coupled with too much choice and lack of direction goes back to our earlier point on the paradox of choice and how this can stop us from moving forwards.

Why you should keep it practical: less is more

But, this isn’t all doom and gloom! In fact, this is an opportunity for individuals to take control of their own potential and hone in on what is important to them. Keeping things practical is the best way to avoid or prevent being overwhelmed altogether. And, it’s easier than you think.

#1 Work with a trusted recruitment partner who will be able to guide you 

If it’s the potential of a career that is overwhelming you, speaking with a recruiter who works to understand what you’re looking for personally and professionally is a great place to start. Not only does this help you filter out opportunities - it enables you to get in-depth guidance from someone who understands the market and has your best interests at heart.

#2 Seek advice from individuals who are where you’d like to be in the future

They say “never meet your heroes” - but we beg to differ. As mentioned, potential is what could be, so speaking to individuals who are in places, positions, or opportunities that you’d like to be in the future is a great way to break down how they got there, understand the difficulties, and also understand their lived experience. 

Let’s say you want to relocate to a new location for a role - the best person to speak to is someone who has had the lived experience and can give you enough information and guidance to make that decision for yourself!

#3 Remember, less is more

Trying to explore and research 5 different career paths, for example, will be exhausting. Instead, focus on three (it’s the magic number, after all). Whether that’s three career paths, three destinations you want to relocate to, or three universities that you’d like to pick - less is more!

#4 and finally, change is allowed at any time!

With so many choices out there in the world, we may sometimes feel like we need to stick to one career path or route in life and never divulge from it. Career breaks, travel, career changes, or moving to the other side of the world are all still possible even if they aren’t in your imminent trajectory right now. 

Too often we forget that there is a world of opportunity out there and just because we choose one path now, doesn’t eliminate the possibility of taking an entirely different route in the future.

Some of the most successful people in the world didn’t begin their careers or find their passions until way later in life - so remember, there’s no rush.

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