There was a programme on a while ago called Seven up. It asked children aged 7 what they wanted to be. Some of them - the richer, more privileged ones - had it all mapped out. Eton, Oxford, called to the Bar aged 28. And then the programme followed them every 7 years. And guess what happened? That's exactly what they achieved, and that I suppose is great...but I could not help feeling sorry for them...
Meanwhile, further to my last post and as if by magic, Seth Godin writes further about choice of career direction.
It's so easy to be led into a direction, to 'fall into' a career and then make it work. That's a psychological fact by the way - we're brilliant at justifying our decisions to ourselves. Other people flit around, as Seth says. The paradox of choice anyone? But these paths are filled with compromise and your chances of success are limited, and happiness narrower still.
What we need to develop is a direction that's as right as it can be at that time and to follow it with all you've got. Decision making is not a science, which is why companies manage risk.
Taking all things into account, what's the type of work you'd enjoy most? What are the activities that appeal most? What areas in life are you drawn to? What type of people? What do you read? What does this mean for the type of organisation you're drawn to?
High quality decision-making is based on real understanding of who you are. Not easy. But if this can be achieved, then the short term decision becomes not one of expedience, but 'what can I do next that gets me to my vision?'
Self understanding de-risks the big decisions. In a complex world, that's about the best you can do. And anything more planned or perfect would be boring...