A Psychologist Explains Why It’s Counterproductive To Map Out Your Career From Start To Finish

Traditional wisdom on career growth praises having a career map set in stone. But according to new research, this may not be the best advice for professionals today.

Today’s job market is much more fluid than it was ten years ago. Rapid advances in technology have created a world where people can work from anywhere, with anyone, even in fields they have no education in.

To keep up with the times and take advantage of this liquidity, professionals must open up and move out of past career silos.

Here are two reasons why planning a career is no longer wise.

#1.lead to undue stress

With meticulously planning a career from start to finish comes perfectionist territory.

Perfectionism may seem like the secret to career success, but science shows that not all perfectionism is created equal, and that one type of perfectionism can actually harm your mental health. We provide compelling evidence that

According to a study published in the forefront of psychologyperfectionists are either “effortful” or “evaluative”.

  • hard working perfectionist A person with an inner, independent and optimistic desire to be the best at what they do.
  • evaluative perfectionist Focus on setting rigid, unrealistic goals and judge yourself harshly when you can’t achieve them. As such, evaluative perfectionists are prone to developing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

So while it’s good to think about how you can use your strengths in your career, avoid the evaluative perfectionism that comes with a strict career plan. This will only hold you back and can lead to burnout.

Career paths are rarely predictable in today’s job market. Your goals may change as industry and economic conditions change. Keep your options open, be enthusiastic about learning new skills, and keep an eye out for the latest developments in your areas of interest.

#2.miss out on new opportunities and sources of inspiration

Building a career with rigorous long-term planning is like being a blindfolded racehorse. The problem with this approach is that your career isn’t a solo sprint. A collaboration marathon.

When we focus on achieving our own career goals (regardless of organizational goals), we often lose sight of how we contribute to the overall success of the organization. No matter where you work, it’s important to understand that you are part of a team. The most successful employees are often those who know what their team needs and offer to help with their unique skill sets.

In fact, research shows that employee performance improves significantly when their goals align with those of the organization. Aligning goals in this way also increases the organization’s commitment to success, which ultimately paves the way for success.

Therefore, the fact that you are not locked into long-term goals can be an advantage if you are knowledgeable enough to find new goals your organization needs to achieve.


Our career is an ever-evolving journey full of ups and downs. Instead of trying to predict what will happen next, it is important to pay attention to where you are and accept whatever comes your way with enthusiasm and openness. can limit your opportunities for self-care or lead to unnecessary stress.

Focus on setting realistic goals while keeping an open mind about other possibilities that may pop up along the way.

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