Wednesday, September 20, 2017

At a Crossroads in Your Life? Read this.

One year after college, I faced one of my biggest career crossroads in my life. 

I had just finished my first year working for PepsiCo and I was desperate to make a career change. I faced three different paths:

The first path was I could rotate to a new city and new role that was not yet defined with Pepsico. There were open rotation roles in Miami, Baltimore and Chicago. I could have rotated to any of those cities.

The second path was I could join Eaton in their aerospace sales rotational program. If I chose this path I would have stayed in Orange County/LA.

The third path was I could go back to the Boeing Company, join a finance rotation program, and move back to Washington.

I knew this decision would help set me up these next few years. I ended up choosing the third path – returning to the Boeing Company and moving into finance (even though I majored in marketing and sales). 

Fast forward two years and I’m halfway through my twenties. It’s been incredibly eventful so far – I’ve graduated college, moved to California (and back to Washington), and worked in finance and sales. Now I’m about to start my master’s program – I literally start class this week. Aside from all the career and academic endeavors, I also became a dog mom and am planning to throw Boone his first birthday party. 

I’ve realized that your twenties are a series of crossroads; of paths we choose and choose not to take. And our collective decisions lead to colorful life (that we hopefully enjoy). So today I wanted to share some advice for that twenty something year old who may be facing a crossroad in his or her life:

5 pieces of advice if you are at a crossroads in your life:

1. Remember that you gain from every experience you choose in your life. 
You don’t lose out on the opportunities you don’t pursue. You can only gain new skills, new friends, and new lessons from the experiences you choose to embark on. So don’t stress yourself out about “what if I had chosen this or that”. You will learn and flourish regardless of the path you choose.

2. Reflect on your short term and long term goals. 

Don’t be afraid to take the time to really think about what your long term and short term goals are. Does one path help you achieve your short term goals? Does another path help you get set up for your long term goals? 

If the paths lead to a different direction, should you reevaluate and change your goals? Sometimes thinking about what problems you want to solve or what you want to accomplish in your life can help you determine which path might be best to take. 

3. Remember you can only make the best decision for you with the best information you have at the time. 

Hindsight is 20/20. You will not experience the outcome of your decisions until you choose them. Don’t stress yourself out about what is the right decision or what is the wrong decision. Focus on the information you have right now and what your goals are in the short term/long term.

4. Look for head and heart alignment.
There are things that you should do verses things you actually want to do in life. And sometimes we have to balance practicality and finances when working towards out dreams. 

Even if you’re in a place of balancing responsibilities with your aspirations, if your head and heart are aligned in your next step, it means you are meant to take that path. 

5. Embrace the change.
A crossroads will inevitably lead you to a change in your life. Like any transition in life, it will come with ups, downs, and in betweens. You may feel lonely at times or extremely challenged. So remember that you chose your path for a reason. You are meant to be where you are today; whether you’re happy or unhappy with where you are – this experience will help you get to your ultimate goals.

What’s been some of your most memorable crossroads? What’s some advice would you share to someone at a crossroads right now?

Shop a similar look and my exact pair of white slides:

Thank you for reading!
Photos: Holly Phan