I was just watching a video by Marlo Thomas where she was asking people what they would do differently knowing what they know now. In my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I included a chapter about this very subject. The following is an excerpt from that chapter where I discuss why I don’t think that many things we choose are really mistakes because they have led us to where we need to be now.
Think about the choices you made when you were young. Would you choose the same things now? Maybe not. Maybe you weren’t ready to take on the things you can now do. I doubt I would have been as good a professor if I hadn’t had the 25-plus years of experience in the working world to help me add to my lectures and discussions.
Perhaps that degree you got in Sociology or Education or some other field no longer interests you. Perhaps you need to go back and get more education in a new area of interest. People change and interests change. It’s OK to say that what you were interested in when you were 20 is not the same thing that interests you now.
One of the reasons we change is through the life lessons we learn. We may take a job that leads to another job that we had no intention of doing in the first place, but makes us much happier than we thought it would. You have to factor life experiences into the equation of what brought you to the place you are right now.