How to tell good from great…or better

Last time, I touched on how not every opportunity that comes along is one that you should jump at.  If you’re anything like me, you wasted years just jumping at anything that came along, not bothering to be choosy.  A paycheck was better than living on the street, am I right?

The problem is that people like us are making the mistake of not giving up the “good” in favor of holding out for the “great.”  Constantly chasing after mediocre jobs or projects wears us out, and leaves us frustrated and angry at some point.

But how do you know how to give up the good for the great?

List out your opportunities—one side for good and the other for great

Seeing them in writing will help crystallize your thinking, and help you formulate your plan of attack or learn what to let go of.  Dry erase boards were created for this very thing.  It will also help you figure out if a particular opportunity will fit with your purpose and you goals.

Or it will help you realize early on if a particular opportunity will distract you by leading you down a side road.

Talk to advisors about the opportunity

People who have been where you are thinking of going have hard won experience.  And they know the questions to ask, and things to consider that you might be ignoring if you’re looking at the opportunity from an overly idealistic standpoint.

Test the waters

If you’re in a situation where you can do a small experiment with the opportunity before fully committing, take the chance.  You’ve probably already done this before, working part time in your new career while still working full time at your day job.

Look at where you spend your time

Does this potential opportunity really serve your goals?  Or would saying no to it free up your schedule for more productive pursuits?

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