All of us live with expectations, whether perceived or actual, about what we are “supposed” to do with our lives. Sometimes these expectations are really in-your-face expectations (think of your mother who tells you at least once a week that it sure will be great to have a lawyer in the family), but often they are unconscious or deeply buried expectations (think of how society places lawyers higher on the social hierarchtical scale than say, a grocery bagger). Often times, feeling a need to fulfill these expectations can keep up stuck in a career path that is not right for us.
Learning to identify the expectations that are being placed on your life is the first step in pursing a career path that is right for you. Sit down and spend some time making a list of all of the expectations that are being placed on you. These can be spoken or unspoken, real or perceived. They can come from anywhere – parents, siblings, extended family, spouse, high school friends, messages in society – anywhere!
Once you have identified the expectations you are living with, evaluate them. Which ones do you need to conform to (realistically, you do need a job that will pay the bills), and which ones are just a weight tying you to a career path that you hate?