Your Career and You: “Decisions…The Fork in the Road”


publication2One of my favorite topics…life’s choices.

I spent an all-too-brief time with a former student/good friend a few days ago catching up on “stuff” and talking about “life.”

She has been studying for her master’s degree in London after having graduated from Curry College with a degree in Communication and a Concentration in Public Relations. And, as she enters the final stage of her college life, she’s torn on what to do/where to go next.

As usual, I was of little-to-no help given my own apparent inability to make a decision. But at least I provided a sounding board off which she could bounce her thoughts and ideas.

That’s the problem with growing up…all of a sudden you’re faced with decisions for which there are no pat answers. Sure, others…your friends, your parents…have gone through the same experience. But this is different. This is all about you.

I never fail to be fascinated by those people…mostly students these days…who seemingly have their whole life carefully charted out in a notebook. “Be here at 11:30 am” … “Do this on Monday.”

Believe me. I’m not making fun of anyone here. In fact, I’m more than a little bit envious. Why? Simply because I have never, ever, had that kind of structure. I’ve always been an “oh, it’s morning…NOW what?” kind of guy.

That’s not to say I don’t accomplish things. I actually do. But how I get them done is a genuine mystery to some who know me reasonably well.

You can’t avoid making decisions, no matter how unnerving the act can be. And the first step in the process is knowing yourself. What makes you happy? What, when you think about it, makes you go “bleaah” on the inside?

The important thing to remember is that, in order to move ahead, you have to make a decision and then act on it. As you move on in life, you’ll get better at this, but nothing is perfect…especially in life…so just act…make a decision…take a chance.

Most likely you’re not going to get it right the first time. Life is about trial-and-error. You learn from your mistakes. You focus your efforts on the good stuff. You move ahead.

Oh, yeah…and my friend? Well, we don’t know yet, and probably won’t know for a while. But she has some awesome options to consider, and, from my own completely biased perspective, is totally and completely capable of succeeding whichever she chooses.

So, when it comes to decision-making, as the great New York Yankees manager Yogi Berra famously said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!”

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About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 10 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in Action, careers, Curry College, feedback, Inspiration, mentoring, networking, Planning, public relations, Thinking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Your Career and You: “Decisions…The Fork in the Road”

  1. Howard A. Doughty says:

    Decisions are immensely over-rated. They are obviously far less important than the basics – choosing your parents correctly; but, they are also dwarfed [politically incorrect? … sorry] by fate, contingency accident and pure dumb luck. The best decisions I have made in my “career” have come about only because of whimsy and happenstance; the worst from thoughtful reflection. This might, of course, be written off as an rule-proving exception were it not for the fact that most of the great choices I’ve witnessed in others’ lives have resulted from a chance meeting or an unexpectedly open door and not from cool deliberation and deliberate weighing of alternatives.

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  2. Howard A. Doughty says:

    There are, of course, good decisions that are made after careful attention to life’s parameters and measurable assessments of options. For the most part, however, wisdom may be found in yielding choices to “Fortuna” and letting destiny take its course. On the other hand, the second-best advice comes from Yogi Berra: “When you see a fork in the road, take it!”

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    • kirkhazlett says:

      Good thoughts in this and your previous comment, Howard. I also refer to the process as “diving into the deep end and learning how to swim in the process.” Thanks so much for reading and commenting on my thoughts. Happy New Year!

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  3. Howie Sholkin says:

    I think decision making is a critical life skill. Not only the fact that you make a decision but equally important is making a decision, which puts one in the best position to be successful or have a positive outcome. I’ve seen many people who choose the wrong fork in the road and it bites them. Often times, those people are repeat offenders and sometimes wonder why things don’t go their way.

    People who have a history of successful or positive outcomes have a talent. As for luck, I think often one makes his/her own luck by again making a sound decision or learning from mistakes. Even the best decision makers are going to trip up but then it’s a case of learning from it and applying the learnings to the next situation.

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    • kirkhazlett says:

      You’re right, Howie, in that we learn (or should learn) from our mistakes and be able to make better decisions in future. The key, though, is to actually do something and not spend hours/days/a lifetime “weighing” the alternatives. As Nike says so well, “Just do it.” Thanks so much as always for reading and commenting on my thoughts. Happy New Year!

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