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Jan 11, 2017 09:26 AM EST

We've all faced some sort of regret in different areas, and our career choices aren't exempted from it. Many of us have made the wrong career choices: some find themselves in jobs they don't like, some accept job offers they wished they didn't, and some realize over time that the job they applied to is not the right fit for them.

Making the wrong career choices often lead to regret. The good news, however, is that these regrets can be avoided by making careful decisions the next time an opportunity presents itself, notes U.S. News. Whether the regret is about failing to achieve a career goal, or making that wrong professional choice, we can avoid it.

Here are some basic steps to avoid making wrong career choices, according to U.S. News.

Align your goals to what matters most to you

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Before anything else, make sure to align your career goals with what matters most to you. To do this, first identify your career values and then the things that are fulfilling to you, career-wise.

Making your career choices based on the things that are important to you and are rewarding to you will greatly help avoid career regrets over time. Many professionals neglect either their career values or the things that will make them feel fulfilled and end up regretting their professional choices.

Expand your thinking to things outside your comfort zone

Once you identify what matters most to you, set your career goals and don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zones. Many regrets come from not exploring outside comfort zones.

Dream big and set big goals, but don't set unrealistically big goals that will lead to more frustration. It simply means thinking big as compared to playing small. Think outside of the box and challenge yourself to pursue bigger but practical career goals in line with what's important to you.

Honestly evaluate the risk up front

While taking big steps are a good thing career-wise, you'll need to evaluate if these big steps are worth the risk. Any choice you make affects other possible opportunities. Simply put, if you say "yes" to something, realize that you are actually saying "no" to something else.

Evaluate the risks that come with every decision you make. Will that decision help you move closer to your goals? Will it take too much time or will you be able to achieve efficient results faster? Is it really doable? If so, how will you do it, and what's the best way to do it? Make sure that the steps you take are worth the risk.

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