Guidelines for Making Good Career Decisions

It All Depends On Where You Want to Go

The road is a long one between North Carolina and Michigan. We had taken a detour on a whim. Just as we approached our exit to go west, we veered east instead. We were curious to see the scenic coastal city of Wilmington. When we were back in the car pointed west again, GPS broadcasted the disconcerting news ‘12 hours and 25 minutes’ to get home, I felt a surge of discouragement. Navigating our way to Florida to be with family was exciting. That part of the trip was fun with anticipation. Then, by wandering and wobbling along the road back, it felt like we had gotten sidetracked, pulled off course.
The perils of getting sidetracked.  A client was having a problem we all would envy.She had been sought out for a job in another department at the university she worked for. A promotion and a raise. The HR Manager called her out of the blue, told her that her work and accomplishments had been noted by the Dean’s Office — “She was a top-tier employee”. They wanted her to come work for them.
Wow! …… and then Whoa, Wait a Minute! My client was hesitating for several reasons. One, she was happy in her present job. She had not been seeking a change. Two, she knew her boss counted on her and he would be upset if she left. She felt a strong sense of loyalty. (But she also knew her boss respected her, and wanted the best for her.) Three, the new job included many unknowns. But then, here was an opportunity being offered to her? Should she take it? As we continued to talk, I asked her some thought-provoking coaching questions.

1. Did she enjoy challenging, sometimes difficult work, or did she need a job where she knew what to expect? (The answer to that was she loved solving problems, and challenging work).

2.Was her present job one she saw herself staying in until she retired? (No. She knew lots of people at the university who were content, comfortable, but she liked to do ‘what’s next’. She loved her present job, but upon thinking, she didn’t want to end her career there.)

3. So the next question was, “What do you see as your optimal career path, your dream position?”

4. And does this job that has been offered to you, fit into that picture?

It all depends on where you want to go. Being very clear about that makes all the difference in where you end up.
Her career path doesn’t have to be haphazard and dependent on the decisions or whims of others. She is empowered to create her own way.
Where do you want to go? That is the question that will lead you to making decisions about your next step.

ENJOY this post? Sign up for regular tips, inspiration, good deals (and freebies) by signing up!  click here.