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Rachel E

Hi Dana!

I’m so glad that you’ve had a good time in the PPSC so far! 🙂 I can definitely help you think about how to narrow down your options.

But first, keep in mind that I don’t think there’s necessarily a “right” or a “wrong” answer to this question. I think the best way of looking at this question is, “What’s the next right step?” You can always change your mind later, or evolve to a point where you naturally complete a path and are ready to begin a new one! Also, there’s no saying that you necessarily MUST choose one. You can have something that earns you money and things that you do on the side. And if you tend to be multi-passionate, then that might be healthy and good for you!

So, here’s my idea for how you can start weighing these options — Create a grid (like an Excel spreadsheet, even!) where your career options are listed vertically and your values are listed horizontally across the top. Then go through each career option and rank 1-10 (10 being the highest) how much each option can possibly fulfill each value. I know that this is a very simplistic, logical way of doing this! And it’s not meant to be an end-all-be-all exercise; more so, I see it as a way of taking all of your thoughts and channeling them in a way where you can more easily compare the differences.

Then, after doing this, I might delve into the way you ranked things by asking some pointed questions like, “Why is this a 7? What would have made it a 9 or 10?” and “What would have to change for this to be ranked higher?”

I might also use my rankings as a jumping off point to examine the pros and cons of each, as well as the best-case and worst-case scenarios that might arise from pursuing any of those options. Like I might do some free writing about, “What’s an ideal ‘day in the life’ if pursue this path?” and “What’s a bad ‘day in the life’ {or days, plural. Sometimes bad stretches last for a long time!}?”

On that note, I think it’s really important to consider the day-to-day minutia of what any of your options would be like. Often certain things sound fun from the outside, but the day-to-day grind is still going to be present. So what would the day-to-day grind be like for each of these options? What are the less-than-fun tasks you’d have to do for each? Sometimes the easiest way to discern the best fit is to figure out which drudgery you’re most willing to accept!

Let me know what you think after you’ve delved into this some more! 🙂