Exploring your options...


Often, you reach a point in your career where you begin to feel confused or stuck.

You know you want to make changes but it’s difficult seeing the way ahead. Sometimes, the difficulty is not seeing any other options or possibilities. Another common scenario is seeing too many, so many that you don’t know which way to turn.

This week, I’m sharing some tips to deal with these two situations.

Watch the video below or read the short transcript beneath it.

If you haven’t already read last week’s blog, I offered a free exercise to help you identify what you really desire for the next chapter of your work and / or life. You can request to receive it at the link below:

Sign up to my mailing list and receive your free copy of my ‘What I Really Desire’ exercise.

Exploring your options:

For the first scenario, where you don’t see any or enough options, here’s a simple solution to help you through: brainstorming.

Give yourself a blank sheet of paper and a pen. You might even want to enlist the help of a friend for this too.

On your sheet of paper, write down any and all ideas that you can possibly think of – going from the absolutely crazy to the downright practical.

You can write down things which are related to what you’re currently doing or things that people in your circles are doing, what you see others doing. You can even include things you’ve seen on the internet that have inspired you – anything at all that you could conceivably think of doing in the next phase of your work and life.

Just get them all down, don’t censor them.

This is about getting your brain into thinking more creatively and into ‘possibility thinking’.

From there, you can reflect further on your options - and perhaps even move on to the next exercise, which will help you to refine your options.

Exploring your options.jpg

If you’ve got too many options, so many that you feel stuck because you don’t know which one to choose, it’s really useful to have a way of grading those options so you can sift through and see which are more likely to meet your needs.

An easy way to approach this is by deciding exactly what your needs actually are. Let’s call this your criteria.

Here’s an example - perhaps the change you are looking to make is a new job. Your criteria will be things about the new position that are important to you. In this example, it might be:

  • proximity to home or travelling distance

  • income level

  • hours worked

  • culture of the organisation

  • the fit with your expertise

  • the environment you would be working in

It could be a whole host of things - the key is to identify for you what your criteria are.

Then, if you have a bunch of options and possibilities, you can measure each one against your criteria to see how well it would fulfil them. By doing so, you will be able to properly reflect on your options and some will stand out as having a much better chance of fulfilling your criteria.

I’ve got one final scenario - if you’re really not sure of what you want to do next or how to move forward, I shared an exercise in last week’s blog that I think you’ll find especially helpful.

The ‘What I Really Desire’ exercise gives you a blank slate to start thinking about what you would really desire, if anything at all was possible. It’s about being curious and discovering what you desire for your new chapter in work and / or life.

You can receive a copy of the exercise when you sign up to my mailing list, here.

I hope you find these simple exercises helpful. I’d love to hear how you get on - come and share your thoughts with me over on my Facebook page or send me an email at sarah@sarahmcnicol.com.


Further helpful reading…

If you liked this post, why not try:

Help, I feel stuck…

Discovering what you really desire

Are you questioning the status quo?