Stay Focused on Your Long-Term Career Path

No matter how much you enjoy your work, you may wonder what another profession would be like. But you should be careful not to wind up wandering off your desired career path. Before pulling up stakes, be sure you:

Know what you want. Your manager has offered you a promotion. Before you jump at the chance, consider whether the promotion is in line with your long-term career goals. If not, find the courage to be honest with your boss and to act in your own best interest, even if others disapprove or are disappointed.

Listen to your instincts. We all have an inner voice that tries to get our attention when something’s not quite right. The problem is we frequently silence our inner voice by focusing on what we think we should do. Thoughts like, “It’s not what I want, but if I pass up this opportunity, I may not get another,” or “I’m not comfortable here, but I can adapt.” Pay attention to your feelings before making big decisions about your career.

Change your mind when you need to. You’ve lobbied for an opportunity and now it’s yours. Before you act, ask yourself a few questions. Is the timing right? Is the salary adequate? Have your ambitions changed? You’re better off changing your mind than taking a job you don’t really want, perhaps depriving a better-suited person of the opportunity. Make the choice that’s right for you today.

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