Think Outside The Dots

People often come to me thinking in black and white. They say…

I need to figure out if I want to stay at my job or get the hell out…
I’m not sure if I want to manage people or remain an individual contributor…
Should I keep my career in software or try aviation?

“Or” can be an evil word. There are usually more options than what you see on the table. Your story has more than two endings.

To break yourself free of either/or thinking, view your two options more as poles on a continuum rather than the lone answers on a multiple choice test. Draw a horizontal line on a page and label each end with the options you perceive. Then look at the line, not at the end points. There are infinite possibilities along that line.

Maybe you can shift positions within your job instead of leaping out of it. Is it possible to work alongside your colleagues but in a lead role? Maybe managing a small team will allow you to do some hands-on work as well. What if you can build the software you’re used to building but from within an aviation company instead of a tech firm?

You know the saying: Think Outside the Box. Well, we also need to learn to Think Outside the Dots.

Dichotomous thinking lures us into believing we only have a couple of dots to work with, when in fact there’s a whole line of options.

Think outside the dots.