Technology entrepreneur Daniel Gulati sat down with a group of professionals ages 28 to 58 working in a variety of fields to discuss their greatest career regrets and found five major themes.
- “I wish I hadn’t taken the job for the money.” More money didn’t lead to more happiness, but instead left people feeling trapped in unsatisfying jobs because they came to rely on a high income.
- “I wish I had quit earlier.” People found that when they finally did quit jobs that made them unhappy, they wished they had done it sooner.
- “I wish I had the confidence to start my own business.” Plenty of people have business ideas and aspirations of entrepreneurship, but most end up regretting not putting those ideas into action.
- “I wish I had used my time at school more productively.” There are a lot of things you can do in school that you can’t once you have a career, a mortgage and a family.
- “I wish I had acted on my career hunches.” Several people looked back on moments where they could have taken a different road, but didn’t and wish they had.
— Adapted from “The Top Five Career Regrets,” Daniel Gulati, Harvard Business Review’s HBR Blog Network.
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