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
5 pieces of advice if you are at a crossroads in your life:
1. Remember that you gain from every experience you choose in
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
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?
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Thank you for reading!
Photos: Holly Phan