Avoid the pressure of having to make the “right” choice

You are maybe in doubt about choosing the right education or the right job, because that is what you “have to” do. But what if there are more “right” possibilities to pursue?

01 October 2018

Many young people today have this idea that it is important to make the “right” choice. First, it is important to choose the right education and later on, the right job. Naturally, this notion has been increased by certain elements in the most recent study progress reform.

But perhaps you are one of the young people, who do not quite know what they want – what the right thing is for them. Perhaps you have several interests – and maybe you would like to work in different areas or fields? But how does that fit with making the right choice?

Should you feel pressured to follow a certain “right” path, because you have heard that this is what you are supposed to do or could you in good conscience pursue a different, or several different paths?

The choice between specialist and generalist is outdated

Do not despair. Several years of study in motivation and career choices by Decision Dynamics have shown that the career concept and one’s motivation in career choices can be very diverse compared to what many of us think today.

Many of us still think that building a career is a choice between being a specialist or a manager, which is reflected in old sayings, such as “cobbler, stick to your last”, “there is no coherence in your résumé”, and of course the current pressure of having to make the “right” choice.

However, there exists a large group of people, who are motivated by several professions and/or kinds of tasks.

Multiple interests make it easier to find a job

What does that mean, then, for the choices you can make and how frustrated should you be? It is, of course, understandable, if you are frustrated because you do not know what is right for you. Only, it is not a sign that something is wrong with you – many others feel just like you – and that is completely natural.

But what can you specifically do, instead of wondering what the “right” thing for you is? First, you must learn to live with the fact that you are not one of those people, who just knows what is “right” for you. Second, begin to appreciate and acknowledge the fact that you are able to find joy in multiple things. Because that means it will be easier for an organization to offer tasks that you will find interesting and therefore motivating, and you will not be dependent on your job providing specific content that makes sense to you.

If you do wish to give up the search for the “right thing” for you, you can try different things and do a log of which parts of tasks/jobs that motivate you and demotivate you. This way, over a period of time, you will probably be able to put together an image of what elements a job must contain, in order for you to find joy in it.

The “right” thing can be many different things

It is about your mindset – and not letting it be affected negatively by others’ expectations of you. That also means that you can practice your personal story at interviews, so that you can explain with confidence why you do, or have done, several different things. And if someone asks about the coherence in your résumé, you can explain that you have a wide range of interests and can therefore be motivated by different kinds of tasks. And, as a result, you have the ability to quickly acquaint yourself with tasks and create value to an organization.

So the answer is: yes, you have to make the right choice, but to many there is not one, but several right choices. And perhaps the “right” thing is only right for a while, until you find something new, which is also right.

Remember, you have so much time ahead of you and will be working for many years – there is plenty of time to try different things in your career.

All the best with finding your many right possibilities.

/ Torsten Laursen, Qant

About the blogger

Torsten Laursen works at Qant, where he creates change in public and private organizations and companies.

Torsten has an eMBA (MMD) in Management from CBS. In addition, he has a Diploma Programme in Business Administration (HD) and is a certified process consultant. Finally, he is also certified in several international management tools.