The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a female student in my 20s who’s completed my job hunt. There were two different companies that unofficially offered me jobs and I chose one. Now I’m sorry I didn’t choose the other.
The offers were for the same profession. The company I turned down is well known and could have presented me with a wider variety of tasks. But I wasn’t comfortable with them relocating employees all over the country — not knowing how long it would be before I came back to Tokyo. Consequently, I decided on the other company.
There is another reason for my choice: I felt like resisting those who told me to choose the bigger one.
There is no problem with the company I chose in the end. It’s just that they fall short in the volume of business they do and its potential, compared to the other company. Now I’m full of regret.
I don’t know why I turned the other one down; it would have been great to be assigned to an unfamiliar place and live there.
I feel so hollow now, with no energy left in me. How can I work confidently and positively for the company I chose?
Dear Ms. A:
I, too, often regret choices I’ve made.
When waiting in line for the cashier at the supermarket, I start thinking that I should have got in the other line, where they are moving faster.
I get annoyed over such small decisions, thinking I’ve wasted too much time.
Or, I get frustrated over larger issues, like I shouldn’t have accepted a particular work offer.
You can’t get away from being annoyed with the very choice you just made when you’re living in a society where there are so many options to choose from. In the end, the way we deal with the unhappy feeling we have after making a wrong choice becomes a very important aspect of life.
I’m sure you know the proverb, “Don’t cry over spilt milk,” while also knowing it doesn’t necessarily mean you can brush off your regrets easily.
Your decision to choose the company you did was right. If you had chosen the other one, you would have regretted doing so.
Just remember that you made your decision by instinct. They were asking you to come join them.
My recommendation is to start taking care of what lies before you now. Concentrate on completing your graduation thesis, or make a plan for a great trip. Get in touch with old friends you haven’t met for a long time.
Doing whatever you can do now should eventually bring back your confidence.
Masahiro Yamada, professor