A few months ago, a friend of mine who is working as a Director in a big multinational company met with me and told me that a middle-sized company contacted him and that they offered him a CEO Position, where he will be responsible for the whole business and more than a thousand employees.
We were chatting together and then he asked me for my opinion and if he should take this new opportunity or not?
And I told him ‘’of course take it you stupid. They offered you a huge salary and a big career opportunity. Do not think about anything else. There is nothing else more important’’
I am just joking of course. I told him something different.
However, If you ever faced a similar situation, where you had to decide if you want to accept another offer from a different department or company, or if you ever felt confused while making big career decisions then continue reading this article because it is definitely for you.
I want you to keep the story of my friend in your mind because we will come to this story again later.
But first, I want to share with you the story of a famous American series called ‘’Suits’’. Its a very interesting series and I recommend that you check it......But only in your free time.
It is about a famous lawyer, his name is ‘’Harvey Specter’’ and his day to day life in the law firm that he is working for. He is considered one of the best lawyers in New York. He earns a lot of money. He climbed the career ladder fast. He is handsome and super smart. And because he is super attractive, he spends every few days with a new beautiful girl.
So, as you can see from my description, he has everything that any person can dream of…. Almost.
Whenever I had a chat with anyone who is a fan of this series, I used to hear words such as ‘’Oh my god, his life is so exciting. He is handsome, He is super skilled...etc.’’ And I always used to hear this sentence in the end ‘’It is a dream life. I wish I can live my life like him.’’
All of this is cool but let me share with you the other side of the equation or what the people ignored to see while watching the series.
In the same series, you can clearly notice that:
- he spends a lot of hours at work each day until 09:00 or 10:00 pm.
- he rarely had vacations.
- he is always under continuous pressure and he cannot afford to make mistakes.
- he feels sad and lonely at the age of 45 or something and he does not have a family.
- There are tons of conflicts between him and his colleagues each day at work.
The series and episodes show both the advantages and disadvantages of living his life.
But whenever anyone sees the series, they only focus on fame, money, success, cars, women and how they will look like if they were him, instead of seeing the full picture and judging honestly if they really want to live this life as a package with all its pros and cons or not.
Coming back to the story of my friend that I started this article with, I told him ‘’You are newly married and soon you are planning to have a baby you and your wife. While being a CEO is a great achievement especially for someone in your age, and while it has a very bright glare, but the cost of taking this opportunity will be so high. Long nights at work, a huge responsibility to make a profit, and a huge amount of stress. Weigh all the options because the brain will trick you and will show you only the bright shiny moments and will rarely show you the hard sleepless nights. And after weighing the options, checking your priorities and discussing with your wife, if you both agreed that it is a great opportunity, then go for it and put your heart into it.’’
Now, let me summarize to you the steps that you can take if you ever passed through a similar situation:
First, write down the pros and cons of the opportunity. And be honest with yourself.
Second, visualize the full picture and not only a part of it. Instead of only visualizing or seeing yourself earning a lot of money and buying a car or going to vacations, also visualize the pressure, the sleepless nights, the responsibilities, the time away from your family, and the loneliness at the top (in case the opportunity was a big one like the story of my friend).
You have to see and visualize all of that. Because if you wrote the pros and cons and only visualized the pros, then your emotions will lead you to accept the opportunity...Why?
Because we are irrational creatures and we make a lot of decisions based on emotions, our identity, and self-image. And if you doubt what I am saying then go and check my previous episode. You will find the link up here if you are watching this episode on my YouTube channel.
Third, write down your priorities and compare them with the pros and cons of accepting this opportunity.
Fourth, Ask yourself ‘’What am I planning to achieve in my private and professional lives in 5 and also in 10 years from now?’’ and based on this answer ask yourself another question ‘’Are the pros and cons of this opportunity taking me more towards my goals and priorities or away from them?’’
Fifth, and if you are married, then you have to show the pros and cons of the decision to your spouse with full honesty and transparency and make a decision together. Because if you decide alone without the buy-in from your family, then they will not have tolerance towards you or be patient regarding your circumstances.
And the last tip that I would like to give you is: do not ever take the advice of someone who will not deal with the consequences, especially that they are not aware of a lot of things that are going on in your life. Saying the story to someone in 5 minutes and then accepting his advice especially if his or her advice is aligned with your inner wishes, is a no go.
Listening to other people’s advice is ok, but the decisions have to be from your head and according to your circumstances. Because if the things went bad, you will be the only person who will deal with the situation.
This was my opinion and now it’s time to hear yours. Share with us in the comments section below the steps that you usually follow to make big career decisions.
See you in the next article.