My friend came to me the other day and asked me for advice on what I think he should do next. He has graduated college and is at that point where he could continue on to do more schooling and get a masters OR start looking for a job.
I knew that I didn’t have the answer he was looking for, only he does. But as a good coach knows, the client always has the answer it’s just our job to guide them to it.
So he came to me looking for help and I asked him a few questions to help guide him to his answer. Now, I’m not there to ask you these questions but you can ask yourself these questions to help you decide where you want to go next. If you’re at that point where you can continue schooling for higher education, get a job or somewhere in between then these will be helpful questions to ask yourself:
Do I want to produce or learn?
Are you ready to be a productive member of society and get to work? Or are you still unsure of where you want to go and feel like school may be the best path? OR does your future career require you to do X amount of schooling so it’s essentially already decided for you?
If you think you are ready to get a job and go but aren’t sure if you have the right amount of schooling then I would say lean into finding a job and see where it takes you. I know I just said a good coach asks questions and only guides the client but the question has already been asked and now this is the guiding part 😉
It all depends on what you’re feeling you want to do.
Years ago when I was about to graduate from college I knew without a doubt that I wanted to get into the work force. I was ready to produce and had guns blazing. I was prepared to work my ass off, sell my way into a job and do what was required of me. I was really done with college. I was ready to move on.
However, another friend of mine actually decided to stay at college another year because he just wasn’t ready to leave. He did another side major that took 2 years (he took that his third year in) and ended up doing 5 years of college and loved it.
So it really depends on where you are emotionally – for this question. Are you ready to start producing or not quite up to taking the plunge yet?
Am I willing to move cities?
If you are the adventurer type then this answer is obvious. But if you’re undecided on whether or not you want to stay or are open to moving for a job or more school then this is a big question to think about.
To answer this, look at what you value as important in your life. What’s more important, family/current friends or your career/dreams? I know, a hard question. I’m not asking you to choose one over the other but I am asking if you’re willing to sacrifice spending time with your family/friends to go after your career/dreams?
For me, I chose career/dreams over family when I first graduated. Again, family is always more important to me but I was clearly giving up spending time with them to go somewhere different. I moved out to San Francisco, had several jobs/career, started my own business and was a networking boss! I did that for a few years and now I live back in my home town of Tampa. Thankfully for what I’m doing it can be done anywhere (online business/remote) so I get the best of both worlds.
So are you willing to move cities for either your next university or job? If NOT then that narrows down your options a lot. Your answer is then mostly set – a job is your choice not university. Because there are a LOT more jobs in your town then universities. I can guarantee that! Typically there is a university, maybe 2, in your town.
So if you’re decided you want to live in the city you’re currently in well then you have more direction. But that is a big question you have to ask yourself. If the answer is you’re ok with moving, as I was when I first graduated, then your options have opened to nearly anything.
“The work I was doing wasn’t truly aligned with who I was” – Ashley Stahl: Career and business coach
What are you willing to sacrifice?
This is similar to asking yourself what you value but I wanted to expand more on this because the importance of it. Whenever we go for something there is an opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is basically what you’re willing to give up in order to get something else.
This is always a challenging truth because who wants to give anything up? I mean who wants to sacrifice anything? That’s such a rough word. But it’s true though, you are going to have to give something up.
If you want a thriving career, you’re going to have to give up relaxation time, time with friends and family and at times your sleep and sanity! There’s always something you are going to HAVE to give up in order to get what you want. That’s the truth of it. Whatever your choice, you may not feel you gave something up but you ended up sacrificing something.
A simple example of this is, just the other day I had to decide what I wanted to give up because my schedule was very tight. I had a lunch meeting I wasn’t going to change and was attending a big Christmas party I go to every year with friends and family. That gave me a few split hours to fit everything else in. I wanted to workout, get work done, make my smoothie and sleep more. I decided to give up some sleep and making my smoothie. Working out is a necessity for me for many reasons and I wasn’t cancelling on anyone today. I sacrificed sleep and making my smoothie. Not huge things but that is just an example that you almost always have to sacrifice something to get what you want.
So what’s important to you? What are you willing to give up to get what you want? You want that dream job, you’ll have to give up a lot of your free time because you’ll be working your ass off to get it.
You want that spot in a prominent university? You’ll most likely have to give up having a full time career because doing both would be nearly impossible with time/classes and you’d come across overwhelm often.
I wish you the best on getting out of your stuck spot. I know what it’s like to be there and can tell you it will pass. Just keep searching, asking yourself the right questions and never give up on finding your dream career!
Have a good week.
Leave a comment below about your thoughts on your next direction!
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