I just finished reading Sheryl Sandberg‘s “Lean In.” The book is a good read, with some interesting thoughts on women in the workplace – she also gives some killer business advice. One insight Sandberg provides has been stuck in my head the past few days…“The definition of success is making the best choices we can, and then being okay with them.” I’ve been thinking a lot about the choices I have made in my life. I’ve come to realize that many times I don’t make a choice because I’m overwhelmed by so many options. BUT by not making a choice, I’m still making a choice. In my career for example, there are a gazillion routes I could take professionally – career advisor at a college, private practice career coach, consultant, writer, director of a career center, etc. As of this time, I have NO idea what I want to do long-term. I seem to have an interest in everything…I’m like a career path slut. So…how do I make a decision? More importantly, how do I feel okay with the decision I make? Right now, since I don’t have a specific career goal, I’ve decided my goal will be to learn. I want to learn about new industries, new client/student populations, becoming a better writer, and how to be a better mentor and leader. So…how do I feel okay with it? I have colleagues and friends getting higher titles, bigger salaries, getting published, and working for high profile organizations. Sometimes it is hard not to feel like a…scrub*. So, how do I feel okay with my choice? For me, I remind myself that I made a conscious choice and that I’m participating in my professional life versus being passive (and making a choice by NOT making a choice), and that the choice I made will provide meaning as I learn new things and connect with good folks (two of my highest values). I’ve got to curb the part of my personality that compares myself to my peers. No scrubs, y’all. Choices are hard, but being ok with them can be even harder. Here’s to making (sometimes non-traditional or risky) choices, and sticking to our guns!
* Scrub – An inferior person. Most often refers to social or professional standings, i.e. anyone who isn’t The Big Jock or similar (resource: Urban Dictionary)