It was time to change the environment of my home office.  I had an idea of what I wanted my office to feel like – warm, bright, sunny, vibrant yet peaceful at the same time and thought that lime green was just the color.  Boy was I wrong!

While the color itself was beautiful, it felt like I had placed grown up furniture into a baby’s room.  Not the feeling I was going for.  I had to live with it for a few days until I could repaint, but more than that I had to find the right color. I did and here is the result:

This process made me think about how we make all kinds of decisions, especially career decisions.  We may have an idea of what we want, yet need to try several things until we finally “feel” that it’s the right choice.  We often don’t know if something is right just by looking at it (in my case on a paint chip or even half a wall!) and instead need to dive in to test it out.

Paint is easy, we choose a color and if we don’t like it we paint another color over it – sometimes twice in the same week :)

With our careers it’s not as simple, but here are some ways you can try a new career on for size to see if it “feels” right:

  •  Shadowing – find someone who is in a career that you are considering and ask if you can spend a day (or half a day) with them in their environment
  • Volunteer in a new role – find an organization that needs the type of role you are considering and offer your services to them.
  • Volunteer in a new environment – Even if you are engaged in a different role than you would like, placing yourself in the new environment will allow you to assess how it feels to be there
  •  Pro bono work – if you are considering offering a service, whether on your own or through an organization, try offering it pro bono to a couple of people to see what it feels like to be delivering it.
I would love to hear from you.  What other ways have you found that have helped you know you have found the right choice for you?

 

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