Here’s a story I’ve seen a few times now: A friend takes a job at a great company. It’s a huge, well-deserved role for them. Everyone agrees: They’ll do big things there.
And then a year or two later, that friend steps away from the role. From the outside, it seemed to be a good fit in terms of responsibility, opportunity, and salary. But the day-to-day of it was a different story. They weren’t learning or growing, or felt unhappy in their role. They decided to leave.
But when I’ve asked these friends afterwards if they regretted the decision to take the job in the first place, they’ve almost always told me: No, definitely not. Again, it’s the same story: These are people who did their homework before taking the job. They talked to people at the company, and asked as many questions as they could. The job didn’t work out, but it was OK: They’d still made the right decision at the time. And I’ve seen stories like theirs countless times — stories of people who made a decision that didn’t work out, but who still don’t regret the choice they made.
I’m thinking back to something I wrote back in 2011, in my annual “The Things I Believe” post. I wrote:
Try not to regret bad decisions. Just make the best decisions you can with the best information you have.
Eight years later, that still holds true. You don’t always have control over what happens after you make the decision — but you have total control over the decision itself. Do your research, talk to people you trust, and make the best decision you can. Even if the choice doesn’t work out as well as you’d hoped, I’ve found that as long as you made the right decision for the moment, you’ll walk away with no regrets.
That illustration comes via Katerina Limpitsouni and unDraw.