Throughout my career and even recently, I have given advice on career planning to people. Lately that has manifested itself through my weekly visits to Miami University where I act as recruiter in their Mock Interview program. Over that last two months I have been giving parental advice to Jenna as she begins to plan her career anticipating her graduation from University of Cincinnati with a degree in Nursing.
Last night, Jenna was describing her career discussions with Tri-Health (which resulted from networking with J.P.). The single biggest challenge of a career search is the issue of matching your ideal vision of a job with the available market and competitive landscape of other graduates. This "dance" affects the emotional self esteem quotient, the balance of pros and cons of any job and/or company, and the fear of making an incorrect career choice. All of this surrounds the single biggest unanswerable question that everyone of us has - Why are we here? What is my purpose in life?
This frozen quandary is only broken by seeking information, networking, researching, listening to your inner spirit - but finally with taking risk. To help recruits out of analysis/paralysis, I remind them that this decision is just a "first job" decision - a foot in the door.
One of the toughest choices is whether to choose to pursue your "ideal" job function within any company, or choose to pursue the best company in your field. I told Jenna that my career success was less about job function and more about selecting the best in the field (e.g. Accenture). "I would prefer to sweep floors as a job in the best company, than to do what I want in the worst company."