Uncertainty is permanently inscribed in the area of our professional life: from doubts related to the choice of studies (or other form of vocational education), through a clash with reality in the first job, to the feeling of being lost on an already well-established career path. When looking for support and good advice in such moments, it is worth paying attention to our inner voice: intuition.
The belief that a successful professional life is written for those who follow the chosen path without hesitation is a myth. Even if we know for sure what we want and in what direction we would like to develop, many unknowns await us at every moment of our career development. We are not free electrons – we are part of an ecosystem that consists of the labor market, our employer, our own family, and finally … ourselves and our needs, which do not have to be engraved in stone. It has been known since antiquity that the only constant thing in life is change.
On the one hand, it is clear that professional development must be planned. But in practice, achieving goals with the precision of a surgeon is simply impossible – we can be sure that sooner or later we will face our own hesitations and uncertainties: what to do? The good news is that this applies to all of us. If we take a closer look at the stories of inspirational figures who have become authorities in their industries, we will see that their career paths were also full of challenges related to doubts and difficult choices. And that for all these people, listening carefully to their own intuition always plays an important role.
What is intuition, basically? It is still unclear how to fully define it. It is a gut feeling, a flash, information coming from within. Some researchers claim that it is deeply rooted in the subconscious, which, based on our previous experiences, instantly sends the most appropriate solution to the conscious part of the brain. It is our inner advisory voice, and if so, it is worth listening to. So how to use intuition in your professional life?
Let’s take a look at the recruitment interview, which begins our relationship with the future employer. We decided to look for a new job, we send our CV, we make an appointment. Everything seems to be fine, but we feel that we are not on one wave with the person we are talking to. Or that the way the company presents itself to us causes us discomfort for some reason, although it is difficult to say why. This feeling is the first thing you should consider when looking for a new job. Of course, we can convince ourselves that you need to get to know each other better, that drawing conclusions from one meeting is hasty – and yet this is how intuition works: “Even if you collect more data, the result will be the same: this is not the place. for you, keep looking. And it is most often the case: if we feel that the recruitment interview did not suit us for some reason, it will most likely be similar with working in this place.
Another example is when you talk to your boss about a raise. Theoretically, it is enough to make an appointment, present arguments and count on a fair judgment of the situation. But timing is just as important. Such a conversation may be based on hard arguments, but after all, the decision is made on the basis of the superior’s subjective assessment. Therefore, if you intend to have such a conversation, it is worth taking into account not only a free slot in the calendar, but also rely on your intuition whether a given moment is really good for it. It would be optimal to have a plan B – if something about the attitude of our interlocutor tells us that it would be better to talk about a raise on another day, let’s listen to that voice and talk about another issue. Or on the contrary – if our intuition tells us that now is a great time to mention the issue of a raise, it is worth following it. Our subconsciousness receives many signals from another human being, and our intuition will allow us to interpret them accurately.
In fact, there are countless professional situations in which it is good to attract attention to our inner voice, from the small to the most important. They have one thing in common: they are related to making decisions. We wonder whether to answer a difficult e-mail – our intuition may tell us that it would be better to hold off, because the matter will resolve itself the next morning. Maybe we intuitively sense that our paths with the employer have somehow diverged and that we have exhausted our potential in the current company – then our inner voice may tell us that it’s time to change. And that although we are not looking for a job, it may be worth responding to the message that a recruiter on Linkedin sent us a week ago.