Don Pilch has some unique experiences in reinventing himself. He worked as an accountant, information technology manager, financial management executive and as a massage therapist before going to medical school. Now he’s a psychiatry resident at Upstate.
“Everybody has his or her own way of making a big decision,” he says. Some take an analytical approach; some make decisions based on intuition or gut instinct. Don found he made the best decisions when he used both methods and reached the same conclusion. For example, when he chose a place to live, he compared several apartments’ features, location and cost, etc. He also sat down in each apartment and imagined himself living there, taking note of how the place felt, his gut reaction. The place he chose was the one that both made sense analytically and “felt right.”
When it comes to choosing a career, he suggests shadowing several people in the fields in which you are interested. During each experience, consider whether you could see yourself doing the actual work you are observing. Afterwards, ask yourself: which experience felt the least like work? Which would you like doing, even if you were not being paid?
Those answers can lead to more introspection. Analyze what it is about particular work that is the most satisfying to you, and that may help you decide how you want to spend your life.