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Breaking Free from the Sunk Cost Fallacy in Your Career

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Breaking Free from the Sunk Cost Fallacy in Your Career

A common sentiment I hear from people early on in their careers is:

“I want to do this because this is what my degree is in.”

This mindset is known as the Sunk Cost Fallacy. It involves clinging to a particular career path solely because of the time, effort, and money already invested. 

However, this approach doesn’t just limit your career potential; it also restricts your overall happiness.

Consider this analogy: if you realized you were driving in the wrong direction, would you continue on the same path or turn around? Naturally, you would turn around, even if it meant taking longer to reach your destination. The same principle applies to your career. 

It’s okay to change direction and pursue what truly interests you.

Here’s a different perspective:

Your past is a foundation, not a limitation. It has provided you with critical thinking and transferable skills that you can apply in various fields. Your personal interests can evolve, and so should your career choices.

How to Counteract the Sunk Cost Fallacy:

1️⃣ *Focus on Future Benefits*: Ask yourself, “What will I gain from continuing this?” rather than “How much have I already invested?”

2️⃣ *Set Small, Durable Goals*: If you want to explore a new field, dedicate 30 minutes a day to learning about it for six months. You’ll be amazed at how skilled you can become in that time.

3️⃣ *Make Peace with the Past*: Accept that past investments are gone and cannot be recovered. Make decisions that are in your best interest moving forward.

Changing your career path may take a bit longer, but it’s a journey worth embarking on for your future happiness and fulfillment. It’s perfectly okay to adjust your direction and strive toward a career that truly resonates with you.

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