Transitioning - courage to choose

I would like to suggest a few tips on how to manage the transitioning easier.

First, let’s define the parameters:

  1. Financial expectations

  2. Location

  3. Career growth expectations

  4. What you are good at

  5. What or whom you care for

And there could be many more depending on the personal priorities, but I wanted to list the most common ones.

#1 is closely linked with market conditions. Some jobs are high in demand and they pay well.

#3 is whether you expect to build a career and grow with it. #5 is related to its ultimate purpose. Some professions serve a specific group of people. For example, teaching and medical professions target people, while engineering, marketing, finance, or sales might serve a variety of needs.

There are three problems people get stuck at. 1- Too many unknowns. People don’t know themselves and the market. They have no idea about the parameters, including #3-5. Not knowing the market doesn’t help either; 2- Trying to find the best choice. People don’t want to regret, thus they go through a very painful “analysis-paralysis” phase; 3- Anxiety. People keep moving around with all sorts of “what-if” questions. All those questions seem valid, but actually, it is the voice of anxiety. Anxiety might also cloud the judgment. Everything seems uncertain. “Too many unknowns” and “I need to find the best” could be the result of anxiety.

Here is what I suggest:

  • Come up with the top one or two priorities among the 5. Then, define the next as “nice to have” one. Look at how your choices now look like. Try to write these choices down. Writing is better than just thinking. With your current qualifications and experience, what can you have? Try to do some research by using LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, etc. Talk to some recruiters. What is the perceived gap between what you want and what you can get? If you cannot come up with the top two, you can also think about what you want to avoid at all cost, e.g. having a job that has no purpose, or doesn't pay well. probably you need to take some quiet time to reflect.

  • Remember that there is never a best choice or answer because it is impossible to know what other choices could have been unless you time-travel and live through each of them one by one. You may not believe, but there is a role of chance/destiny/kismet/karma plays. What might be available to you at that moment could be the best one in the long-run if you adopt a learning/growth mindset.

  • Deal with anxiety. Anxiety is a very strong and sneaky emotion. I am sure you have heard about meditation/physical exercise/prayers (if you are religious) million times, but, yes, there is scientific proof that these practices work against the paralyzing power of anxiety. (Note: There is an evolutionary reason why we have anxiety. It is there to protect us from the dangers of the unknown, i.e. meeting strangers we cannot trust, being cautious during times of uncertainty. Anxiety gets unproductive when it prevents learning.)

Trusting your skills, your choices, and taking proactive steps will diminish anxiety.

I hope this helps...Please feel free to drop comments!


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