By Kyla Camille, via ExecutiveChronicles.com | Six Ways to Weigh Options in Choosing Your Career Path | Being given the liberty to choose what course to take drives you nuts. It’s not that you hate the freedom to do so, but it’s because of having to force yourself to leave one dream career behind – in the mean time.
If you’re about to set your feet on college, if you’re already in it, or if you’re about to post a new map of your soon-to-be-self, then there are probably a lot of things going on in your mind right now.
“Am I making the right decision?” “Is this what I really want?” “Will I regret this in ten years?” “Will this make my parents proud?” “Which IS A LOT BETTER?” The list goes on.
Most of the time, as you cross out choices on your list, you are left with the two things you love most. If you are on an unending loop of questions as you try to figure out which one is best to take, then here are six thoughts that might help.
- “Which is more practical?”
Whether you like it or not, in a very advanced world, practicality is the first thing that you have to consider. If you are torn between two things that you really want to pursue, then assess which one is a lot more practical than the other. For example, if you want Plan A as bad as you want Plan B, and Plan A earns you money faster, then why not go for Plan A before pursuing Plan B? It’s not leaving the other choice behind. It’s just asking yourself which plan to take first. Do it step by step. Either way, it’s a win-win situation.
- “Where do I REALLY see myself five years from now?”
You have to know where and who you want to be before you take any action, so you can plot your points from the starting line. Being decisive and being able to visualize your future self are key points in choosing. Ask yourself what led you to the remaining choices. Is it because you have always imagined yourself following your parent’s footsteps? Or is it because you have already made plans with yourself on booking a flight to London for graduate school?
- “Which excites me more?” (TOSS A COIN)
It may be old school, but it works most of the time. Tossing a coin helps you decide between two things because when the coin is in mid-air, you will catch yourself wishing for what you want to appear on the coin. If what you want comes out as the result, you get the feeling of approval and extreme excitement. On the other hand, getting the less-wanted option may still make you happy, but forces you to toss the coin again for a “better” result. If you’re in this situation, then what are you still thinking about? You know exactly what you want. You don’t need the support of a coin.
- “Which is the heavier ‘What if?’”
What scares you most in making a decision is looking back and asking yourself the dreaded question of all time – “What if?” When you’re looking at a situation where neither will suffice your guilt in the future, then weigh which option sits heavier on your shoulders. Look at Plans A and B and thoroughly think them through. Deep inside, you know which plan measures 0.1 kilogram heavier than the other. If you find it harder to let go of Plan A, then you got yourself an answer. (Extra thought: If you have already assigned a “Plan A” in your mind while reading this, stop doubting. GO FOR IT!)
- “Which will my sixty-year-old self thank me for?”
As a kid, you have always had that one dream. Maybe you wanted to be a performer, an architect, a computer engineer, a film maker, a teacher, a chef, a lawyer, a doctor, a flight attendant, a police officer, or maybe an entrepreneur. Nevertheless, you have always had THAT ONE DREAM that makes you feel motivated every time you think of it. One day you wake up and you’re sixty. One day, you’ll wake up asking yourself why you did and did not do all sorts of things. Do you want THIS PLAN to be listed among your “Things I did not do” and start rushing to catch up with time?
In reality, money is a factor to live, but is never the element in living happily. Money has never been enough in weighing your options and will never be. When you reflect on your life on your porch one day, you don’t start counting your coins. You sit there, holding on to your photo album of your greatest moments, celebrations, achievements, events, and grasp all the satisfaction of fulfilling your ultimate dream. Stop checking your account balance. Start ticking off things from your bucket list.
- “Who am I doing this for?”
Regardless of who sends you to school, who that horrifying professor is, who your partner wants you to be, who the most intimidating student in class is, or who your friends tell you who you are fit to be, NOBODY IS IN CONTROL OF YOUR DECISIONS BUT YOU. Yes, there may be a lot of things to consider since you might not be the one paying for your tuition fee and all the other checks, but hey, you have the right to education.
You are not choosing a course because you want to show that awful professor that you deserve a higher mark. You are not deciding to take Plan B just because all your friends are in it. You are not going into that track because your parents told you so. You are not settling for less because you are trying to live up to society’s standards.
You are choosing Plan A because you want to, because you can, and because it will always cause a spark in you. Why do you have to impress a bunch of people who are just trying to make a living as well? Be your boss. It’s not a matter of grades, standards, salary, and stamps on your arms anymore. Once you are ready to take the next leap in finding your dream job, consider reaching out to a sales recruiting firm, or any recruiting firm that will help you land that job.
Choosing between two great opportunities may be hard, but it is part of writing your history. In the long run, everyone will be challenging you either way, so why not challenge yourself where you know you’ll be happier in? Live up to your standards. You are doing this for yourself and for that goal you’ve been preparing for your whole life. Remember, nobody can ever tell you that you are less than gold.