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Three questions to ask yourself when you feel overwhelmed by career choices

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https://qz.com/work/1627676/a-columbia-professor-says-3-questions-can-help-you-choose-the-right-career/

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Three questions to ask yourself when you feel overwhelmed by career choices
"Do what you love" is career advice that's easy to give, but notoriously hard to follow. For one thing, we can't always accurately predict what kind of job we'll love until we're actually doing it. For another, we may love doing a lot of things: solving math problems, helping others, interior decorating, eating pie, playing with dogs.

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"Do what you love”...

...  is career advice that’s easy to give, but  hard to follow, because we can’t always accurately predict what kind of job we’ll love until we’re actually doing it. Or maybe ...

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Questions to help you choose the right career

  • What can I do better than others? Think about what you're really good at, and how you could use the skills where you have an edge in order to get results.
  • What prob...

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The Real Career Landscape

The Real Career Landscape
If you can figure out how to get a reasonably accurate picture of the real career landscape out there, you have a massive edge over everyone else, most of whom will be using outdated convention...

The career pitfall

Careers used to be kind of like a 40-year tunnel. You picked your tunnel, and once you were in, that was that. You worked in that profession for 40 years or so before the tunnel spit you out on the other side into your retirement.

Today’s career landscape isn’t a lineup of tunnels, it’s a massive, impossibly complex, rapidly changing science laboratory. 

Why Career-path-carving is important.

Time. A typical career will take up somewhere between 20% and 60% of your meaningful adult time.

Quality of Life. Your career has a major effect on all your non-career hours.

Impact. Whatever shape your career path ends up taking, the world will be altered by it.

Identity. We tell people about our careers by telling them what we are.

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Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Listen to your thoughts — but don’t necessarily believe them

They're suggestions, possibilities. But they’re not gospel. You can’t control what thoughts pop up, but you can deci...

Identifying Unhelpful Thoughts

  • Black and White ThinkingThere are heaping piles of nuance to most things.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Cynicism is bad, but a little skepticism is essential. 
  • Selective Attention: If your brain is always looking for the negative, you’re gonna find it. 
  • Disqualifying the Positive: Sometimes we go into problem-solving mode and focus only on what is broken. 
  • Predicting the Future: “This will never work” or “They’re going to think I’m stupid.” You don’t know the future. So don’t act like it.
  • “Should” thoughts: It’s usually just an insistence that the world bends to your will and is a great way to amplify frustration.

Do More Stuff

Doing little positive things is better for happiness than occasionally bagging an elephant:

  • Enjoyable stuff
  • Achievement stuff: Defeat your goals in single combat and feel like a conquering hero
  • Meaningful stuff: Do volunteer work or just help someone
  • Physical stuff: Exercise. Not only keeps you alive, but it’s like miracle grow for your brain
  • Social stuff. 

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Avoid tension and build rapport

Avoid tension and build rapport

This underscores the importance of starting on the right foot.  If you upset the person you’re trying to help, they’ll wall themselves off. 

It's important to use empath...

Focus on collaboration

To get someone to act on your advice, it’s going to mean giving up at least some of the credit for it. 

When the person receiving your advice feels like they had a hand in creating it—with guidance from you, the expert, of course—they’re far more likely to act on it.

Show your work

In this case, you’re showing your work because it instills trust, and trust is critical for acceptance. 

When you show you work, the person you’re advising doesn’t have to take your recommendations on blind faith. They can see exactly how you got to your advice and buy into it along the way.

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