Career Development: The fine art of taking risks, living with “what ifs” and not having regrets

Career Development: The fine art of taking risks, living with “what ifs” and not having regrets

We know that people who make career plans and have a career goal are usually more successful.  One occasion when having a clear plan is particularly useful is when it comes to deciding between opportunities. Let us suppose you are one of those lucky people, very lucky in the present climate, who has been offered two good jobs.  How do you decide between them?   If you have a goal and a plan to achieve it, then you have a map of the territory you need to travel to make your decision.

If you have a plan and a goal, you can set your criteria for selection.  These would be mine! Which of these two jobs is;

  • Most compatible with my career plan and the goal I have set myself.
  • Provides the money I need to support myself,
  • Meets my needs to exercise autonomy and express my our own special talents and creativity
  • Provides a boss I find inspiring and a team I want to work with
  • Fits in with the rest of my life 

This is my list – you have to make your own, I’m afraid.  But however you decide, you need to recognize that your choice brings with it an element of risk.  Even though you think you have done your homework well.  You have done lots of research on the organization, asked lots of questions and consulted contacts who have encountered them in the past.  Still, when you start work it is different to what you expected, because all jobs are to some extent.  It may turn out not to be the exact fit you thought it was and that boss may turn out to be human , just like the rest of us,  and to have flaws. That is the risk you take with any job.

Making no choice is not an option.  You make the best choice you can! But making a choice always comes with risks. It is always possible the other job could have turned out better.  But how much use is spending time thinking about that?  Surely it is better to commit yourself to the job you have taken and do your best in it.  I’m not suggesting that you should stay put if you are being badly treated but let us assume it remains a reasonable job with reasonable people.  Then wasting time on regrets and thinking about what might have been doesn’t do anything good for you at all.  It simply erodes your enthusiasm and your ability to shine where you are.

 

And yet I encounter time and again people who are spending time on “what ifs” and “if onlys”.  They become so absorbed in the day dream of how it could have been that they lose the ability to focus on the here and now and be happy where they are.  Don’t let that happen to you?  If you find yourself starting down that track imagine a big Stop Sign.  Pull yourself up and make a list of all the good things about where you are now. Then go out and do something, don’t spend time ruminating – that way lies unhappiness. If all else fail get in touch with someone like me – work with a coach or counsellor and learn how to focus on the present – that way lies happiness and success.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! To find out more email: wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US. 

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