3 ways to deal with conflicting advice (that don't involve panicking)

02 February 2018 | Events

When it comes to your career, have you ever been on the receiving end of conflicting advice? I sure have - too many times to count.

There are plenty of instances - from interview outfits to the quality of my major presentation - when people’s opinions about my career didn’t quite match up. But, nothing compares to when I was considering quitting my secure full-time job to pursue a freelance writing career.

Mentors in my existing industry thought I was insane, while the people I looked up to in the writing field were practically pushing me off the cliff. My manager stared at me like I said I was going to join the circus, while my parents were endlessly supportive. My close friends told me I could do anything, while random networking acquaintances told me it would never work.

The thought alone makes me short of breath.

Can you relate? People have a lot of opinions, and they don’t always complement each other. In fact, sometimes they’re plain old contradictory.

You’re taught to seek the counsel and guidance of others - particularly when it comes to your career. But, where can you turn when all of that advice doesn’t serve to push you in one clear direction?

Here’s what I learned through my own (oftentimes stressful and sweat-inducing) experience.

1. Consider the source

People don’t just form opinions out of thin air. Instead, their viewpoints are shaped by their own unique backgrounds and experiences.

Your beloved grandma might feel confident that a career change at this point would certainly be a detriment - but, that’s likely because she comes from a generation when career exploration wasn’t necessarily a norm.

So, when it comes to receiving advice, remember to think about what sorts of circumstances could lead that person to feel that way. Is this someone with a solid handle on your particular situation, or is he or she coming at it with a certain bias or lack of understanding?

Adding some conditions to whose suggestions carry weight isn’t always a bad (or insulting) thing. Remember, it’s totally possible to trust someone without trusting his or her expertise in every single scenario.



2. Know your values

When I would tell people that I was planning to bid adieu to my co-workers in favour of working totally alone, many had responses that looked something like, “Ugh, I couldn’t stand having to do everything myself!”

I’ll admit that sentiments like those planted a few seeds of doubt in my brain. But, then I realised something: To me, forging my own path and doing things totally alone was one of the things that excited me most about my new adventure.

Tying back to the fact that people have their own individual outlooks, it’s important for you to get a solid handle on your own passions and ambitions. What do you think? What do you want?

With that information in your back pocket, you’ll be able to better consider other people’s recommendations through your own lens. When I discovered that I valued a sense of stability in my career, for example, people’s warnings that the freelance life came with a lot of uncertainty carried a little more weight in my decision-making process.

Be forewarned, this step doesn’t mean that your values and priorities can never shift and evolve. However, it’s important that you take the time to get in tune with your own desires before you confuse yourself too much with the fears and yearnings of everybody else around you.

3. Give yourself a gut check

Oftentimes, you already know what you want to do with those major career decisions. You’re just waiting for everybody to leap to their feet and offer a rousing, “Yes! That’s the right move!”

But, what should you do in those situations when you really feel lost as to what advice to follow and which route to choose? Well, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned gut check.

I’m serious - narrow down your two options and then flip a coin. Here’s the tricky part: You don’t actually have to stick with what the coin lands on. But, as it’s tumbling through the air and your whole life seems to move in slow motion, you’ll likely get a pretty strong inkling as to what side you want to be face up.

When that happens? You, my friend, have just made your decision - conflicting advice and all.

In the world of career questions, there aren’t a lot of black and white answers - that’s exactly why there are so many contradictory opinions and suggestions out there.

Should you quit that job? Make that career change? Go for that promotion?

It’d be nice if there was a one-size-fits all answer to those sorts of questions. But, there isn’t. Ultimately, the best you can do is consider as many perspectives as possible (yes, even when they don’t perfectly line up!) and decide on the right way forward for you. You’re the only one who actually knows what that is.

Still struggling to see your way to the other side? Take this decision-making advice and pretend you’re counselling a friend in your exact same situation. I promise - it works!

-www.muse.com

Similar News

 

Towns challenged to work towards a cleaner Namibia

1 month - 21 January 2019 | Events

Tourism remains one of the strongest pillars of the Namibian economy and has the potential to address unemployment and poverty.Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) is committed...

2019 Namibia Tourism Expo is launched

4 months ago - 15 November 2018 | Events

The 2019 Namibia Tourism Expo will take place from 5 to 8 June 2019 in Windhoek at the Windhoek showgrounds. The dates were announced at...

Wheels, wine and biltong galore

9 months ago - 07 June 2018 | Events

The Standard Bank Autoshow and Biltongfees promises to be bigger and better, when it returns for its 25th instalment in August.Standard Bank's manager for vehicle...

2018 Namibia Tourism Expo promotes conservation

9 months ago - 28 May 2018 | Events

The Namibia Tourism Expo (NTE), which celebrates its 20th birthday this year, will take place from 29 May to 2 June at the Windhoek Showgrounds....

Expert in community-based tourism to address conference

9 months ago - 22 May 2018 | Events

The local and regional tourism community are all looking forward to the 20th edition of the ever-popular Namibia Tourism Expo which will be held from...

The battle of the tour operators

9 months ago - 22 May 2018 | Events

The winner of the Responsible Tourism Awards (RTA) in the tour operators' category will be announced at this year's Namibia Tourism Expo. The finalists...

Bridal Couple winners to be announced at NTE

9 months ago - 22 May 2018 | Events

With fantastic prizes up for grabs and the chance to walk away as the winners of Republikein's Bridal Couple of the Year, the ten finalist...

NTY voting begins on Monday

10 months ago - 18 May 2018 | Events

The voting for the 2018 Namibia Small Town of the Year competition will start on Monday and run until 1 June. The finalists of this...

Sustainable tourism expert at networking conference

10 months ago - 15 May 2018 | Events

The local and regional tourism community are all looking forward to the 20th edition of the ever-popular Namibia Tourism Expo which will be held from...

Calls for 12 May holiday

10 months ago - 14 May 2018 | Events

Calls have been made for 12 May, founding president Sam Nujoma's birthday, to be declared a public holiday.These were the sentiments of some people who...

Latest News

Millions unaccounted for at NDC,...

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Economics

The Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) has failed to submit documentary evidence to prove how it spent N$90.1 million between 2015 and 2017, the latest report...

Aluta continua!

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Columns

Tomorrow is without doubt a significant day in our national history, as we pause to celebrate the spirit of our forefathers and struggle heroes and...

Africa Briefs

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Economics

No end date for Eskom’s power cutsSouth Africa's public enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said yesterday he cannot say yet when rolling blackouts will end, as...

Cob plundering suspects nabbed

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Crime

Leandrea Louw Two men arrested on Saturday for allegedly being in possession of 60 large cob made their first appearance in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s...

Unfinished pipeline impacts 7 000...

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Infrastructure

About 6 932 people and 33 790 large and 18 395 small stock units are facing thirst, as the agriculture ministry battles to finish the...

Apple unveils new iPad, updates...

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Technology

Sonam RaiApple Inc, in a surprise move on Monday, launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and updated its iPad Mini ahead of a March 25...

Climate change and productivity

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Agriculture

Climate change is a long-term change in climatic/weather patterns of the earth or region. Such change is observed in temperature and rainfall patterns, amongst others....

Palladium hits record high

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Business

Palladium surged to a record yesterday as the risk of a ban on some Russian exports added to supply concerns for the autocatalyst metal. Spot...

State supports non-compliant security firms

2 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Business

Employers and trade unions agree that one of the major issues facing the Namibian security services industry is that some government institutions continue to appoint...

Load More