To use a phrase that my undergrad Communication students at Curry College have grown more than accustomed to hearing when I’m talking about preparing for their futures, particularly if they’re thinking about my own career field of public relations, “It’s not rocket science.”
That’s not to say that you should bumble blissfully through college and post-college life as clueless as a newborn lamb, trusting that “things will work out.”
It’s totally okay to be unsure and to ask questions of others. We’re all wisely encouraged to do our research, weigh our options, and make “informed decisions” (something I hear all the time from my more academically-inclined colleagues).
But, after asking the questions and weighing the options…with input from teachers, advisors, friends, family, mentors….the whole village…you have to do something.
And that “something” isn’t always the perfect choice…you’ll make changes. Trust me…I know.
I’ve had any number of my friends/former students start out after graduation doing something that they thought would be interesting/challenging/the job.
They’re doing something else now, and they’re as happy as (as we say down South) “a pig in mud.”
The point here is that, instead of sitting around and “weighing options” in order to make an “informed decision,” they did something. They tested the waters. They took a chance.
But, you say, “they made the wrong decision.”
To which I reply, “No, they didn’t make the ‘wrong decision.’ They took a chance…for all the right reasons…on something that they thought might work out, but it didn’t. In the process, they learned something valuable about themselves.”
What’s great about this parable is that nearly every one of my friends is happy where he or she has wound up. The “fit” is right. The opportunities are there. The possibilities are encouraging.
Take note: I didn’t say “every one.” I said “nearly everyone.” As a wise salesman told my wife years ago when she was examining with a virtual magnifying glass every single inch of a pair of lamps we wanted to buy…and commenting critically every single inch of the way…”Nothing’s perfect, little girl.”
So? Well…those lamps “lived” with us for 40 years…in four states along with a tour of duty in the Philippines. They may not have been “perfect,” but…
Bottom line? Do your homework. Do your research. Talk to as many different people as you can to get feedback on your thoughts.
Then, as our friends at Nike like to say, “Just do it!”