KEY #3: FREE YOURSELF FROM WHAT OTHERS WANT FOR YOU.
This key is a very important reminder.
Your career decisions may affect many people around you: your spouse, parents, children, friends, colleagues and others. And many of those people will be very willing to support you in making career decisions. Mostly they have your best interests at heart and they will help you the best way they can. But they are not neutral and they are not necessarily well informed about your career, your industry, or you.
Let me explain more.
Your friends and colleagues can serve as important sources of information and feedback. But remember they each have only one perspective. Some may be naturally critical, negative or naïve. Or they may be overly enthusiastic about a particular career path. Their biases, preferences and priorities are not the same as yours. Balance their opinions with your own sense.
Some of you may be influenced by older parents who often take very conservative approaches to careers. Since they grew up in a different age, their concerns and solutions may no longer be appropriate or effective in the workplace of the 21st century. You can listen to their advice with respect, but don’t take it blindly.
Your closest friends and family will be affected by your career decisions, and you’ll certainly want to understand their feelings and preferences. My warning is that if you discount your own needs and desires for career fulfillment, you will not achieve your family’s goals in the long run. And if you pay too much attention to other people’s insecurities, you may simply amplify your own and end up stuck. With careful consideration you can find a way to meet the needs of the important people in your life, remembering that the most important person in your life is you.
We’ve seen many examples of people taking long detours in their career paths because of influence from friends or family. You can read some cases that others have shared in the password protected section of the website.
We’re not saying you need to make your career decisions on your own, not at all. The best decisions are made through research and in collaboration with thinking partners. A good thinking partner will listen well, challenge you, point out other perspectives and fully endorse whatever decision you make in the end. For the most important decisions of your life, a good thinking partner is a valuable asset.
Here is your exercise for today:
Think about the people who are interested in your career decisions. What opinions do they have that you will choose to ignore? What opinions or support can they offer that would be valuable to you? What needs do they have that you will consider in your decisions?
If this lesson is difficult, or if it challenges your values, let us know. By expressing it, you’ll learn more.
Tomorrow we’ll start one of the most important steps towards finding the ideal work for you.
Want to know what previous students have said in response to Key #3?