Twice in the past two weeks I’ve had clients ask me how to make a decision about their next step.
"How do I make sure I’m making the right choice?”
In both instances, each client identified the pros of the positions -- the salary, benefits, people, culture, location, etc. I call these “extrinsic” factors, meaning factors outside of yourself.
The trick with extrinsic factors is that they cease to provide satisfaction the moment they are fulfilled; meaning that if you choose a job because you want to make six figures then the moment you make six figures it ceases to be motivating.
Extrinsic factors are important, but should never be in the first position.
On the other hand, intrinsic factors have a slow burn rate. Choosing something based on internal alignment generates energy and satisfaction.
Based on this, let me share the clearest question I’ve found for making a decision about your next career move:
Does that move get you closer to, or further from, your authentic self?
In other words, by taking that role, do you move from a “70% me” job to an “80% me” job?
If you’ll be less authentic more of the time, don’t take it.
In both instances, the clients I was working with said, "No, I will not become more authentic."
I coached a friend yesterday who initially came to me because he couldn’t take another day of being a dentist and wanted to be a park ranger instead.
We took a few weeks to work through his Profile of Self, analyze career options that might fit, and do some informational interviews with folks in the fields he was interested in.
He came to me yesterday a new man.
He was bright, happy, and energized. He’d discovered through his process that he wanted to be a professor of dentistry. He didn’t enjoy fixing molars and extracting teeth but he does love to teach, mentor, coach, empathize and help people work through the struggles of being a dentist as they learn the craft.
The most interesting statement he made was this:
“This had crossed my mind for the past five years that maybe I’d do better teaching.”
"Why didn’t you ever pursue it then?!” I asked (already knowing the answer, because I’d had the same thought about publishing RESET for 7 years).
“The bitterness of dentistry,” he said.
He was so de-energized and dissatisfied with his experience as a dentist that he had shut down the whole industry. He couldn’t even see clearly the auxiliary options that existed in dentistry.
And yet, the answer was right in front of him all along.
Industries are more dynamic than we sometimes recognize, meaning that Accounting is about more than numbers, Law isn’t just standing in a courtroom, and Psychology doesn’t entail only ink blots, couches and therapists.
Every business needs a salesperson, a marketer, a finance person, someone focused on technology, and leader or manager, etc.
Don’t foreclose an option because of one bad experience.
Fight the instinct to generalize your experience across an entire industry.
Look to the branches of the tree for your next RESET before jumping to a whole new tree.
I work with people all the time to RESET their careers, and what I’ve found is those people fall somewhere along the continuum above. Take a look at the descriptions and plot yourself along the line. The further to the right, the more likely your efforts will result in actual change. Stuck on the left? Keep reading books and articles, talking with your friends, and gearing up for the day when you’re really ready to RESET.
Where are you?
NOTE: The most common factor separating the first four types from the All-In Resetter is fear. At some level, fear works in the life of the first four types, causing a lack of action.
Lots of intent, no real impact.
It’s not that the All-In Resetter doesn’t experience fear, it’s that they’ve chosen to acknowledge it, punch fear in the gut, and move anyway.
The only antidote for fear is action.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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