Pursuing professional perfection

Learn to take the bad with the good

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Perhaps you are waiting to find the “perfect” job or work situation before you make a commitment. Well, you might find yourself waiting a long time. No job or work setting is perfect, no matter how glamorous it may be or how much you may love it. Every job has negative aspects that come with the territory.

In fact, something unpleasant or negative always comes with the territory. It isn’t a matter of finding something without negatives; the question is: what are you willing to put up with? If you choose work you love, it will be far easier to deal with the negatives than if you are doing work that you just fell into or that other people think you should do. Decide what you are willing to put up with, and then make your commitment.

Are you trying to figure out how you will accomplish your goals before you set them? Like many people, you may believe you can’t afford to make a mistake in choosing a work direction at this point in your life. Don’t worry. Once you start out on a new path, your life will never be the same anyway. Regardless of what happens, you will meet new people, have new experiences and grow. And discovering that something is not right can be just as empowering as finding what is right. It takes you further along the path to where your heart really is.

What do you do if you have so many interests you can’t decide which one to pursue? Just choose. It almost doesn’t matter what you choose; just choose something and get started. The rest will fall into place. Either you will decide you were wrong and this choice should remain a hobby, or your commitment will feel right and will grow. Choose the idea that keeps coming to mind again and again. And as for all your other interests, think “both and,” not “either or.” There are ways to continue having them in your life. Perhaps they will be interests or hobbies, or you may pursue them later as other careers or combine them.

Based on No More Blue Mondays: Four Keys to Finding Fulfillment at Work by Robin A. Sheerer (Davies Black Publishing, $16.95). Copyright (c) 1999. Reprinted by arrangement with Davies Black Publishing.