“The choice of a career, a spouse, a place to live; we make them casually, at times, because we do not know how to articulate the choices…I believe that people often persuade themselves that their decisions do not matter, because they feel powerless to make the best decision. Some of us feel that, no matter what we do, our decisions won’t matter much…But I believe that we know at heart that decisions do matter.” Peter Schwartz, The Art of the Long View
Many people make short-sighted decisions about their careers without paying much attention to the potential outcomes. However, you should be putting a lot of thought into all of your career choices because they do matter, and being casual about your career can have a negative effect on it down the road.
Despite having long terms career goals, many people bounce around from job to job not realizing how that might look to a future employer, or that it may not allow them to build up the necessary skills for the career they really want. Others may choose to stay in industries or roles they have no interest in because they think someday they will magically land their dream job, even if they make no attempt to pursue it.
Instead of taking a casual approach to your career, make choices with an end goal in mind. Even if you never reach that goal, it will help you make logical decisions and provide you with good indicators of what your next move should be. If you don’t have an ultimate career goal, it’s time to start thinking about where you want to be in the next 10, 20 or 30 years, so you don’t waste your talents or time.
No matter how large or small, slow down and think carefully about what every career choice can mean for your future and have the courage to make choices that get you to where you want to be, rather than where is good enough.
“There is only one success–to be able to spend your life in your own way.” Christopher Morley
Do you make casual or careful career choices?