How to make a great career decision

Here are my final two thoughts on how to make great career decisions:

Point #2: Be true to you This past week, Time magazine announced their "Person of the year" award (drum roll please) – YOU! Their reasoning is the explosion of platforms such as YouTube, whose motto is "Broadcast Yourself!", and MySpace, which provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase themselves.

I think the need that these online communities are meeting is the need for self-expression and acceptance. They provide a place for the individual to have a voice in a world that is growing more homogeneous.

I often hear people say they made a career decision based on the opinions or wishes of someone else. I am not trying to imply that you should ignore the needs of others or disregard their advice about your choices; however, you need to remember that your primary needs are at stake. Your employer hasn’t hired your Mom/Dad/Partner/Best friend, they hired YOU. When you are fully present in everything you do, and you are true to your core needs, everyone wins.

Point #3: Trust your gut Starbucks is one of the great global brands. Whether you agree with everything they do or not, you cannot argue with their success. One of their secrets is that they refuse to conduct focus groups. Howard Schultz, the founder of the company, decided to sell The New York Times in the stores. Why? Because "it felt right". The senior executives make big decisions based on their gut instincts. Pay attention to your gut, it is the final and most accurate "tool" we have. Trust yourself – in most cases you are correct.

As I sit here in Toronto writing this week’s WORKout, I can hear the Salvation Army Band playing Christmas songs. This is what makes this time of year great – how often do you get to hear that kind of hope on Yonge Street? There is something comforting in knowing that this season is about family, community, hope, and the reality of faith in people’s lives. My own hope is that you experience this kind of comfort over the Christmas season.

This week’s 10 minute WORKout: Think about a time when you made a great decision. How did you use your gut?

P.S. Thanks for the overwhelming response regarding the last WORKout. Congratulations to Paria and Michael McClure, our winners of the draw for Dr Frankl’s book.

Along the road with you, Alan Kearns