“People who are making career decisions on an assumption are the ones with the deepest regrets,” Hunter says.
Don’t beat yourself up. At the same time, don’t let one bad decision become two bad decisions. Dig deep to find answers to these questions:
- What would it look like to stay in my new job?
- How can I go to work and not let emotions and feelings hijack me?
- What would make me feel valued, satisfied or appreciated at work?
- If I want to quit because the grass seems greener somewhere else, am I willing to prove that assumption first?
How to move forward
By now you’ve probably guessed that unleashing your inner scientist is important for any career move. That’s right, by applying to your job search some of the steps from the scientific method you learned in seventh grade, Hunter says you can save yourself from repeating the same cycle.
Step 1: Be curious
Explore what matters to you. Is it salary? Flexibility? Purpose? This will help you clarify how you want to move forward. For example, if you took your current position for money but what really makes you feel accomplished or fulfilled is purpose, then what truly motivates you, unfortunately, is on pause.
Hunter shares an example of how she helps students or alumni explore this in real life. “I’ve had many advising appointments where I’ve heard ‘I don’t have a clue as to what job I want.’
“And I’ll say, ‘Is that what you want? A job?’ Then they’ll usually say, ‘I want a career.’” And that’s when she knows they’re closer to looking at the kind of role that aligns with their goals.