I am often in conversations about career choices. And, while some ask the “Am I doing it right?” question explicitly, most ask it implicitly.
And, in every one of these conversations, I start with a variant of – “There’s no right answer.”
It is a helpful reminder in any conversation about careers (or life for that matter).
All we can do is ensure – a) we know what we want. b) we have as much information/awareness as possible on the situation and people involved. c) we are thoughtful about the likelihood of us getting what we want with the choice we’re making and what we will need to do to make it happen.
In the long run, thoughtful choices and good process lead to good outcomes. That’s about all we can focus on.
Having a strong set of values, core beliefs, or principles can be both a blessing and a curse when making decisions.
The clearer our values/stronger our core beliefs, the more options we will easily be able to eliminate. Arguably, we will be able to make decisions that are more predictive to our happiness.
On the flip side, we will also have far fewer options from which to choose from. In places where such options are few and far between, this can be painful. For example, we will have fewer career options we’re excited about and will probably take longer to hire that right candidate.
“It has always seemed strange to me…The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”| John Steinbeck
Brad Stone kicked off his latest book – “Amazon Unbound” – with this quote. While brilliant in the context of the book, it is a quote that has kept finding its way back to my thoughts in that past day.
I was on a single lane road recently and behind a slower moving vehicle. The road had many “turnout areas” for slow moving traffic. But, this driver was either unaware of the rules or oblivious of the traffic building up or just stubborn.
So, it gave me a lot of time to think about the idea of a “turnout area.”
It is a neat solution to traffic on a single lane road.
It is also applicable well beyond driving.
Sometimes, in our lives and careers, we find ourselves in situations where our pace – even if unintentional or despite our best efforts – is holding others back.
When that happens, it’s good practice to pull over and let them pass. It is never easy to do this. But, everyone enjoys the journey a lot more. And, things work out just fine in the long run.
“The courage to be happy also includes the courage to be disliked. When you have gained that courage, your interpersonal relationships will all at once change into things of lightness.” | Ichiro Kishimi,Fumitake Koga