Carel van der Poel has served at FOM, Philips, Dupont, NXP, FEI and TU Delft.

Opinion

Opening doors

Reading time: 3 minutes

Can’t decide whether you should stay put or pursue the career opportunity that presented itself? If rational considerations fail, take a cue from an old American TV quiz.

In my professional life, I repeatedly faced choices affecting my personal future. Education, family matters, social life, employers, going abroad, being a researcher or accepting broader responsibilities, health, keeping my current job or changing it – since my 20th birthday, I guesstimate that I had to decide some 20 times which fork in the road to take.

That number will probably be a little lower for most people, but everyone faces these potentially life-changing decisions now and then. How to handle them best? Personally, I draw up a ‘balance sheet’(in fact, three of them), weighing what a choice implies for me, my loved ones and my outer circles. Do not forget to consider what may happen if you refuse to decide anything and make no change at all. After stacking up your pros and cons on the scales, invite trusted eyes from your network to provide a fresh and independent look. But in the end, the decision is yours and yours alone.

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