I frequently get emails from people asking me how to make an upcoming career decision. The people who are the most perplexed and stuck are often the ones who have two or more good options in front of them, and they get bogged down in trying to make their choice. They may be weighing the pros and cons of different courses of study or they’re trying to choose between a number of compelling job offers.
There’s usually an argument to be made for choosing either option. Maybe one has better pay, but less flexibility. And the other has a sweet work from home potential, but does not offer as much compensation. So how do you choose?
Honor Your Gut Reaction
If you’re feeling confused about which choice to make then you’re probably overthinking it. Try to still your verbal mind by closing your eyes and watching your breath for a minute. Then bring your attention into your body. Take a baseline measurement of how you are currently physically feeling.
Next, bring one of your options fully into your mind. Note how you physically respond. Do you notice your shoulders tensing? Or do you sit up straight, with a slight smile? Write down the physical sensations you’re feeling. Repeat this procedure with your other options. Then go through your choices. Which option provided the most positive physical reading? Sometimes checking in with this gut reaction can be clarifying in making your decision.
Shift Your Focus
A lot of times people who have several good options in front of them get focused on figuring out the ‘right’ or ‘perfect’ choice. This is a recipe for a lot of frustration because you can’t ever completely know what a job will actually be like. You’ll usually be making your decision with partial information.
Shift your focus away from this potentially unsolvable problem of ‘what is the right choice?’. Instead, take control of your decision by focusing on your part of the equation. Whatever decision you make will also be impacted by your attitude and the way you engage with the job.
Since you’ve got good options in front of you go ahead and choose one, and decide to make the best of whatever choice you make. Go for it wholeheartedly.
I truly believe that there are many satisfying career possibilities available to each of us. We can be happy and fulfilled doing any number of things. There’s not a right answer. There’s just the choice you make, along with the decision to make the most of whatever you choose.
What has helped you make a career decision in the past? Leave a comment below!