Figuring out your career can feel like a job in itself. With the average American holding approximately 12 different jobs by age 48 and only 27 percent of college graduates ending up in careers related to their majors, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to finding the right career path.

As we get older, our decisions are influenced by more realistic views of what it takes to succeed in particular professions. Subconsciously – whether we know it or not – family and societal pressures also play roles in our decision-making processes. But at one point or another during our professional development, the majority of us will find ourselves forced to answer the tough questions: “Am I happy doing this?” “Am I reaching my potential?” “Is this really me?”

Meandering along from one career to the other is part and parcel of the journey we call “life.” We need to keep in mind that the most direct route to our goals isn’t always the one that’s most enriching. If you’re one of the 52.3 percent of people unsatisfied with your career, know that you have the power to make a change.

Of course change, isn’t always easy – but staying in a career that doesn’t fulfill you is no picnic either. Nothing has to be permanent. This is one bed you’ve made that you don’t have to lie in if you don’t want to! There is no reason why you shouldn’t make every effort to fulfill your professional destiny and stay true to who you are.

Need some extra motivation? Hear what these real people have to say about what they wanted to be when they grew up, trying to fulfill their dreams, and deciding to do what makes them truly happy:

Michele Mavi is Atrium Staffing‘s resident career expert.

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