When I was in high school and even college, all of the career aptitude tests I took said that I should be an accountant. I didn’t really know what was involved with the profession – except math which I did not like – so I dismissed the notion repeatedly without any further investigation.

Today, I can look back and see that this was a very reasonable suggestion. I know now that accounting is much more than just math and my detail orientation would have probably allowed me to be a very good accountant. While I don’t regret my actual career path, maybe I should have listened to the test results.

If you are given advice repeatedly, even if it sounds outlandish at the time, perhaps give it a bit more credence instead of instantly ignoring it. If you hear that you’re good at something or could improve at a portion of the task, pause to consider what is motivating the suggestion. Ask some clarifying questions to understand what’s at the root of the feedback and ponder whether the core idea has any merit.

Even if you don’t follow the advice you are given, there’s no accounting for what you can learn to enhance your work along the path you do choose.

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