Congratulations! You’ve done it all. You graduated from college, got the job, are establishing yourself and then…BAM! The judgment starts. How much money do you make in a year? What is the long-term outlook for your career field? Where do you live? Can anyone have it all: a balanced work, social, and family life? You can feel the pressure coming from everywhere: your friends, family, and the media. One thing’s for sure, you don’t want to wake up middle-aged and wonder, ‘Is this all there is?’ This is where many people begin to feel trapped. Professionals start to feel like they need to work longer hours to make more money, and achieve an ideal presented by someone else.

Coaching for young professionals helps to navigate the working world while remaining balanced and focused. Many things compete for your time: your career, family, and relationships. It can be difficult to stay on track and keep it all together. How are you making sure everything gets done and that you are still having fun? Are your values being honored through your work and at home?

I’ve compiled a list of the top 3 pitfalls of young professionals and how you can escape the trap!

1. Following the Status Quo – How many times have you heard, “It’s always been this way”? This is a flashing red light letting you know that you have entered the dreaded status quo. Obviously, having traditions is great, but to be progressive you have to know the difference between tradition and the status quo. Traditions are customs, habits, and rituals that usually celebrate something. The status quo is the current situation and way of doing things, normally based on the past.

A lot of advice you receive often comes in the form of the status quo. You might hear things like, “If you make at least $80,000 a year you will be happy”, “If you work late, your boss will appreciate you”, “If you don’t get married by 30, then you will be alone forever.” If you’re hearing things like this from family and friends, they may be well meaning but remember, YOU are the expert on your own life. Choosing not to “rock the boat” is usually not the path towards freedom, a promotion, or happiness.

2. Losing Yourself – There are many ways young professionals lose themselves. We’ll focus on the number one energy drain I tend to see, work! Are you working 40, 50, or more hours a week? On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your overall satisfaction with life, family time, sleeping habits, and social activities? If these numbers are lower than you’d like, you may be losing your self to your work.

Ask your self, ‘Do I enjoy getting out of bed every morning?’ If the answer is no, it’s time to inject some passion and boundaries into your life! Let’s say you find yourself staying late multiple times a week because there is no one to work on a project but you. Think about speaking to your boss. You can establish a boundary around your time and self-care by having work-life balance. But we’ll take it a step further, if you are losing yourself on the job consider if this is the right place for you. It’s better to find out if you are unhappy or in a dead-end job sooner rather than later.

3. Stop Dreaming – With the day-to-day demands of life, it’s easy for your creative thoughts to take a back seat. When was the last time you did something for pure fun and enjoyment? What dreams have you forgotten about or given up on from the past? Young professionals often get caught up in the working world and they stop doing the things that they are passionate about.

Why are dreams important? Our dreams help us see who we really are by revealing our deepest desires and motivations. When you stop dreaming, its like you are unplugged from your inner self. You are going through the motions, from point A to point B with no passion in sight. With coaching, many people tap into their dreams again allowing them to create change, make money, and bring the joy back to their lives.

As a young professional, it is important to set yourself up for success. But it is vital to make sure that you are creating the life you really want, and not an image or ideal designed by someone else. Now that you know the common pitfalls, reflect on how these might have shown up in your life. Move forward with confidence and balance!

Author's Bio: 

Porschia Parker is a Certified Professional Coach, Business Consultant, and Founder of Fly High Coaching:

When she is not coaching, Porschia enjoys traveling, cooking, and working with animals.

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