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纽约时报中文网 NYT教育频道

This week I’ve invited my friend and co-worker Millie Tran of our Global team to share some of her wisdom about figuring out her answer to that question we all grapple with at some point: What am I going to do with my life?

所有人在人生的某个时刻都会遇到这个问题:我要拿这一生做什么?本周,我请到了既是我的朋友,也是我们全球业务团队的同事米莉·陈(Millie Tran)分享她在寻找答案过程中的智慧。

Take it away, Millie!



To figure out what I wanted to do, I did what I know best: I read everything, found the most useful tips and frameworks and started putting a plan into action. I had been quietly sharing this presentation with all the women I know, but at the behest of a friend and colleague, I’m sharing it publicly in hopes that it’ll be useful for you — if you, too, have been thinking about what to do with your life.


Start by looking backward


It may feel impossible to predict what exactly you’ll be doing next, but what you can do is connect the dots looking backward. Find the common thread. What did you do? What did you learn? What are the themes? Let that be the compass for how to make future decisions.


“Your career is defined by your skills and how you’ve used them, not by any external measure of your progress,” wrote Julie Zhuo, vice president for product design at Facebook, on Medium, where she often writes about leadership and design.

“你的事业是由你的技能和你如何利用它们决定的,而不是任何衡量你进步的外部标准,”Facebook负责产品设计的副总裁朱莉·卓(Julie Zhuo)在Medium上写道。她常在该平台上撰写有关领导力和设计的文章。

Titles, salaries and affiliations are fleeting, but your skills and experiences stay with you forever. Careers are long, so think long term. It’s not about what job you want next, but what life you want. Answer the immediate questions of what you’ll do next in the context of your longer and larger career — and life — goals.


Define what ‘meaningful’ means to you


One framework I’ve found useful is thinking about it in four categories: legacy, mastery, freedom and alignment.


Legacy and mastery are about the body of work and what you want to achieve and the skills you want to cultivate and strengthen. Freedom is about the conditions you need to have the lifestyle you want, like salary, benefits, flexibility. Finally, alignment is about belonging, in terms of the culture and values of whatever organization you may be working with. You can read more about each here.


Do these three things right now


1. Form a “personal board of directors” by picking four or five people you trust to help you test hypotheses and make decisions. This can be informal. The main point is to not go it alone.

1. 挑选四五个你信任的人,组成一个“个人董事会”来帮你验证假设和做决定。这可以是非正式的。重点在于不要独自行动。

2. Begin building a financial cushion by saving where you can and making a budget if you don’t have one. “Having a financial buffer will make it more likely that when you find something meaningful, you’ll be able to act on it,” wrote Amy Gallo in the Harvard Business Review. Here are a few simple tips for saving a few extra bucks.

2. 开始构建经济缓冲能力,方式是尽量节省并制定预算——如果你没有的话。 “具备经济缓冲能力会增加你在发现有意义的事情时有能力采取行动的可能性,”埃米·加洛(Amy Gallo) 在《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)中写道。这里列出了几条简单的省钱建议。

3. Take time to reflect. Schedule it in your calendar and give yourself the space to think. You’ll make progress even if it’s just a few hours every other week.

3. 花时间思考。把思考放进你的日程安排中,并给自己留出思考的空间。即便只是每隔一周深思几个小时,你也会有进步。

Find a sponsor, not just a mentor


High-potential women are overmentored and undersponsored. Sponsoring is a much more specific function of mentoring and connects mentoring to advancement and getting the promotion. An important distinction is that a sponsor has to be highly placed, so she’s able to pull someone up. You can read more about what sponsorship looks like here.


Collect experiences and be generous


If you take one thing away from this, I hope it’s that your career and life are long, but not linear. You may have one or many callings, and there will be multiple pathways. Explore them all or not. It could be one or some combination of all of them. As a good friend and mentor told me: collect experiences and be generous.


作者:Tim Herrera



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