I have many friends and colleagues that ask me for advice to help them figure out what to do with their lives. Most often than not, I’m perceived to have such a clear understanding of who I am and where I am headed in life. I do have to say that the road to where I am today wasn’t an easy one in fact it was an unpaved uphill dirt road. Yes, I am managing to continue to go through this path and I have fallen a few times and scraped my knee on the ground and even fell and rolled downhill a number of times. But, I’ve picked myself up and kept on moving forward with a bit more caution and a lot more tact.
I have a friend who has been looking for employment for quite some time. I’ve been coaching her and asking questions to spur thinking in order to figure out which path to take. Yes, it’s not easy to figure where you want to go and be in life. However, the first step is realizing that you’re clueless. This acknowledgment of cluelessness is important because its our baseline. Now take that cluelessness as something positive. It becomes our clean slate to write down everything you want to achieve.
You first need to set goals. You set goals by acknowledging where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. You want to consider money, career path, work/life balance, growth, etc if we are talking about career goals.
When interviews start rolling in — you can quickly eliminate those interviews that doesn’t meet the guidelines you’ve set initially. This is how you effectively learn to use your time that leads to a better return on your investment (ROI). The investment part is your time that could have been used pursuing other things that lead you closer to your goal. Some goals are short term objectives and others are long term. In fact writing down what you want in a job will help you determine if that position will help you achieve short term objectives and open doors for your long term goals.
Don’t let conditions dictate what you want to have or do in your life.
My friend isn’t too fond of her current job and is seeking a challenging one and she continuously interviews for the same type of job. She received an offer for a similar job and is concerned the pay is much lower but the hours and commute is much better. She needs help to figure out what to do…my advice was to refer back to her list of objectives and goals (she hasn’t written any). I mentioned if this new position helps her achieve her long term goal (possibly being closer to home she can spend more time with family) then its an easier decision to make. I asked if she knew what the pay was like before the interview and also knowing that she wanted a career shift I asked why continue to interview in the same field. She replied back to me that the commute is taking a toll on her. That’s when I said if her short term goal is to lessen her commute then she found her answer.
She fell silent and then retorted back, “well the pay is so much lower at this new job.” I then reiterated, “your trying to talk yourself into or out of something leaving me confused therefore I know you are confused.” I reinforce my message, “have you figured out what your goals are career wise.” She was silent once again.
If you have set a goal, you’ll realize 9 out of 10 times that many conditions should have no bearing on a decision. These conditions could be considerations but at times may not play a big part in making a decision. Don’t become a product of your environment. We are humans and because of that we have the ability to have the environment change to benefit us. What does that mean? Well that means if you have fallen a few times and scraped your knee next time put on some knee pads then climb up that hill or go a different route.