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Hate Your Job? Don’t Spend Your Life Making Up Your Mind What to Do

making career and life decisions lawfuel.com

Job-hating is one of the most soul-destroying pursuits of mankind?  But what can you do about it when you have all those “self imposed have-tos”?making career and life decisions lawfuel.com

The Harvard Business Review carried an article from Mark Chussil that examined the concept of chasing security, the “have-tos” and the belief that maybe we can actually take everything with us.

Chussil, who is CEO of Advanced Competitive Strategies and has advised Fortune 500 companies, conducted business war games and other ‘work’ wrote about quitting a job he didn’t enjoy.

 

Why didn’t he?

Because I’d wrapped myself in a thicket of “have to’s.” I have to have a steady income. I have to have the respect that comes with a business card from a leading-edge company. I have to, not I want to. Assumptions, beliefs, and habits, not wrong but also not laws of nature that I have to obey.

When I noticed the self-imposed have to’s I could question their influence on my decision. I quit my job the next day. I wanted to live my dreams.

That was all 25 years ago and the quitting work phenomenon is something that stalks lawyers and others too.

But the ‘just do it’ mantra has some worth, he says.

Lack of money might be an obstacle to living our dreams. So might the perceived surfeit of time implied by mañana: I’ll do it tomorrow.

I can attest that mañana is especially tempting on agonizing decisions. I was stuck for months on such a decision. Two things got me unstuck. One was reframing the decision before me. I’d tried but just couldn’t answer “What can I do to cause the outcome I want?” I switched to “What are the best and worst out­comes I can expect?” I answered that question immediately. I knew the answer was true even though I didn’t like it.

But what really unstuck me was advice from my best friend, a man I’d known for almost 40 years. He said, “Don’t spend your life making up your mind.” He knew what he was talking about. It was our last conversation, three days before he died of leukemia.

Although we spend a lifetime making decisions.  Things change and we need to be aware of them so that we can change with them and make the appropriate decisions to best suit our lives – even if they don’t meet the career goals that circumstance and social expectation may place before us.

 

Paul Wassgren joins DLA Piper’s Corporate practice in Los Angeles

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