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By Making Not Making Any Choices...You're Making a Choice

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By Making Not Making Any Choices...You're Making a Choice

Tess Brigham

It’s time for Secret #5!

Once you realize you’re unhappy in a job, a relationship, your apartment or even the city you live in, this is the exact moment when you need to start making some decisions.

Hold on a minute…don’t run out and quit your job or break-up with your boyfriend. When I say it’s time to make a decision, it doesn’t mean you need to do something rash that you’ll later regret, it means it’s time to start looking at the problem in different ways.

I’ve noticed this is where a lot of young people get stuck. They recognize there’s a problem and something needs to change but since they don’t know what that something is – they stay where they are. The problem is if you stay in this place too long, you’ll find making a decision, any decision, much harder.

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Secret #5: By not making any choices…you’re making a choice. Make a choice before someone or something makes it for you.

There will be several times in your life when you’ll have to make a big decision. Do I quit this job or stay and see if it gets better? Do I work and gain experience or is graduate school a better option? Do I want a long-term relationship or do I want to be single?

I’ve talked a lot about how hard it is for young adults in today’s world to make choices. The Internet is full of opinions on what you should (there’s that word again) be doing with your life. While it’s wonderful to have all this information at your fingertips, it can also feel like there are thousands of voices in your head telling you what direction to go in.

So what do you do? You decide to stay put until you make your choice. Seems like the best decision for right now? Maybe. Or it’s possible the choice will be made for you whether you like it or not.

Let’s say you’re wondering if you should stay at your current job or try to make a career shift. You’re unhappy and while you know this isn’t the right job or company for you, you fear all those “what ifs” that keep you from looking for something else. You don’t know what to do so you stay at your job. The problem is your lack of commitment and interest in your work shows and ultimately your work suffers and your attitude seems wishy-washy at best.

While you’re deciding what to do, you’re inadvertently showing your boss that you’re not 100% committed to your job. You may be really good at hiding your dissatisfaction (and if you are, feel free to skip to #6) but most likely your indecisiveness is telling your boss, you don’t like your job. This could then influence whether or not you get a raise, a bonus, a promotion and it may even influence whether you get to keep the job that you’re constantly thinking about quitting.

“So what,” you think, “If I get fired, it means this isn’t the right job for me?” Maybe. Maybe not. You don’t know if this is the right job for you because you were trying to figure that out when you got fired.

The point is you didn’t decide to leave your job, someone else made the decision for you. If you actively made the decision to leave your job you could have put together a plan. A plan on how much longer you would stay, how much money you would save, a chance to get in all your medical appointments before you lose your insurance, etc.

If you’re stuck but don’t know which direction to move in, the best thing to do is just move. If you’re debating two or three different jobs, then pick one and start working towards it. Yes, there’s a chance you’ll start making moves towards a job you later learn you don’t want to do.

That’s not the point. The point is you took action. You made a decision, tried something new and you now know this particular job isn’t what you want. Now it’s time to pick one of your other choices and move in that direction, and yes, the exact same thing can happen again, but again, it means you tried.

The point is, it’s better to make the wrong decision, than no decision.