Considering the Power of Career Expectations


“I find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china.” – Oscar Wilde

Author’s Note: Thanks to Gretchen Rubin for inspiring this post.

As you likely have, I hold many expectations pertaining to my career. These expectations can prove invigorating, limiting, or even humiliating — depending on my vantage point. On some days, I hold myself to unachievable standards. On the following day, I may hold a much different view of my career reflection.

I do know this: Kindness matters — as expectations can become a cruel task master.

So a bit of advice:

Know that you likely do the best you possibly can to meet your most valued expectations.

Know that missing the mark isn’t a crime, and not venturing to try is far worse.

Know that falling back on what feels comfortable or fulfilling is never wrong — it just may not always pay the bills or prove practical (in the present).

Know that mixing expectations and comfort, may reveal a recipe that works for you.

Know that expectations should serve as a guide — and not a sentence.

Above all, always strive to acknowledge that difference.

Happy Independence Day!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She examines the effect of Core Stability on work & work life life. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program — her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.


4 thoughts on “Considering the Power of Career Expectations

  1. Dr Gottschalk, your article instills so much hope and courage. Your use of commanding style for sharing the tips hits one and pulls them out of the pessimistic mindset.


  2. Awesome timing on this article, as I weigh my career that pays the bills and my music endeavors as a composer. Good advice to use expectations as a guide, not a taskmaster, as that can take the joy out of the journey. Thanks


  3. Awesome timing on this article, as I weigh a career that pays the bills and my music endeavors as a composer. Thanks


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