Having a lot of options is a good thing, right? Well, the short answer is yes and the long answer is something more like yes with a big “but…” Yes, having a lot of options (especially professional options) is a very lucky situation to be in…but, it is a circumstance that can lead to a good deal of indecision and maybe even some anxiety. “How do I know I won’t regret this in 6 months?” you might ask yourself. When given the choice between several appealing positions, how do you go about figuring out which is the right choice for you?
How should we handle situations with trade-offs, but no down side?
Hunter Walk (formerly of Google) says that the most useful thing that you can do when unsure about how to proceed in your career is to examine what attributes your “ideal job” would have. Would the company be on a unique mission to better the world in some way? Would the commute be less than half an hour? Would you be working with people that you admire in your field? What would the pay be like? Be honest with yourself.
Even if it’s something like simply enjoying the company of your co-workers or having a boss that listens your ideas, it’s what would make you satisfied professionally and personally.
Once you have some criteria, the next step is to narrow them down to the 2 or 3 qualities that you desire the most in your next job. Once you have your priorities prioritized, deciding which offer to take or where to take your career next should feel a lot more like what it actually is: a great opportunity.