Thinking That Your Career Choice Was a Mistake? You’re Not Alone

Here’s why it burns you so much

Abby Cheval
4 min readApr 1, 2021


Me sitting on my sofa bed that I’ve been sleeping on for 2 years.

Second-guessing your career path is going to be one of the hardest realizations you’ll ever have. I know that maybe at the beginning of the journey, you felt genuinely excited. I know that deep down you felt like this was the right path for you. When people asked you what you wanted to do, you told them proudly and you meant it.

I know that you put in a lot of money into training and hours into studying. I know all the effort you put into relationships that you were sure you were going to cultivate. I know that you fought just as hard as your peers for those elusive job opportunities. And in your off-hours, you probably tried to learn new things about your field to stay on top. Because this wasn’t just getting a job for you — this was going to be your career.

Then you finally got your spot in the place you’ve dreamt of since day one. I know how successful you felt seeing your name on the cubicle or your new workstation wiped and ready to go. I know you had your “yeah, I’m new!” introduction to coworkers rehearsed in your head and a story ready to tell all your friends by Saturday.

But as quickly as you loved it, I know that at a certain point…maybe you realized that it sucked. All of it sucked.

Everything about it: the work, the environment, the mission, even the people no longer inspired or motivated you. I know that everything just felt simply…awful.

At first, maybe you blamed yourself. I know that you tried to find reasons and give yourself pep talks:

  • You’re just nervous — it’ll go away with time.
  • It’s imposter syndrome — you’re better than you think you are.
  • You’re not getting it —keep learning and have patience.
  • You don’t fit in with the people— no one does at first.

I know that you got tired of trying to fix or rationalize your feelings. You probably ignored it. I know that you tried to put in more hours, be more helpful and work harder. You knew how much you wanted to do this, how much you put in to get to this stage. You didn’t want to let yourself down — or god forbid, everyone that helped you get here.



Abby Cheval

Millennial, noncommittal romantic, walking the tightrope between hope and depression. Sounds like you too? I’ll write something for both of us.