” I’ve come to realise your career is all about the choices you make. Every single one matters.” – Demi Lovato
Manoeuvring your career through different roles and opportunities can sometimes be confusing. Often an opportunity arrives at your door and you feel unsure. On the surface it looks, feels and sounds just right. But something is holding you back. It could be a personal circumstance or just a gut feeling but you are hesitant. Surprisingly, this could even happen with an opportunity that you have been waiting for years and thought you really wanted.
When making career decisions it is easy to get caught up in doing what the world does and grabbing onto seemingly obvious roles. You may have seen others take on similar opportunities and prosper. Often society and environment frames our values and belief systems on who we are and what we want. But as we grow and discover ourselves, often these beliefs start shifting and this awareness leads to conflicts in our mind.
So if you are having doubts on whether or not to take the next step on your career ladder read on:
1. Purpose: What is the purpose of you doing a job and does this new job align with that purpose today and in the long run? If your purpose is to make money then the job should meet this need exponentially. If you want meaningful work then that should be on offer. If it is a better designation, organisation or increased influence that you are looking for then the job needs to have that as well. Defining the key purpose of what you need will give you a lot more clarity on whether this is the role for you. Some may argue that they need everything in the job but if you reflect closely you will find that when priorities are stacked there are one or two key elements that stand out. You also need to consider if the job meets your longterm purpose. If the answer is yes ,also consider if this the best way to meet that end.
2. Impact: Is there a cost to saying no? What would change if you decide not to take the job? What is the impact on relationships, organisation or your own self? If there was no impact in refusing the job would you still take it? It is important to have clarity on how much the decision is influenced by external elements and people around you. If you decide not to take the job is there a way you can mitigate the impact.
3. Fear: What is holding you back? What problems do you anticipate if you say yes? If you had a strategy to deal with those problems would you say yes? Often fears that may seem irrational to the world are very real to the person experiencing them. These could be fear of failure, fear of excess responsibility and the time constraints that may bring or just the fear of stepping into the unknown.
4. Happiness: Will you enjoy this job and will it make you happy? Envision yourself doing this job 6 months later and think how that imagemakes you feel. Is it a positive feeling or does the image make you feel burdened, tired or bored. This will be a true indicator of whether you really want it. Any role that will make you sink into a negativity in a short while may not be worth taking even if all indicators are right.