Let's say you have baked a magnificent coconut cream pie and you've cut the pie into slices, ready to serve at a special dinner. As the hour approaches, you realize something is very wrong with your pie.

At one extreme, let's say some slices got more whipped cream than others. That's easy - a one-minute fix.

Perhaps one slice got mangled when you made the cut, or your temperamental oven caused a couple of slices to overcook. These slices get tossed. You could spread out emaining pieces in a clever arrangement or serve each slice separately to your guests.

On the other hand, you may have left the pie unrefrigerated and realize that your guests could get food poisoning. You have no choice: the pie must go.

Jobs are like pies. I have seen people toss a whole pie - er, job - when they just needed to tweak one slice. And I've seen people do the equivalent of serving a pie that deserved a decent burial in the nearest garbage pail. They hung on to a toxic, going-nowhere environment.

If your pie was made with expensive, hard-to-replace ingredients, you will invest more time and energy to save your pie than you would if you were serving a store-bought version from the local chain grocery. Similarly, if your job offers unique options and benefits, you won't walk away easily. If you want to hang on for the short-term, ask how you can make it work.

You can see what's wrong with the pie and make the decision, especially if you're an experienced baker. It's much harder to see what's wrong with a job - what should be tossed, what can be salvaged, and how the pieces can be rearranged. After all, you've eaten - and even baked - more pies than you've had jobs.

It's no accident that people who haven't looked for a job in years can commit the equivalent of tossing a perfectly good pie, or burn their first attempts to create something new. A few dedicated non-cooks need to learn how to turn on the oven.

The key is to realize that learning a new skill calls for consulting guidebooks, taking a few classes, calling someone who's been there before, and most of all, taking a few risks. After all, few people really do set the oven on fire.

Author's Bio: 

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., author, speaker and consultant, workswith midlife professionals who want to rebuild, renovate andrevitalize their careers. Weekly tips for smooth moves andsmart decisions. mailto:signup@cathygoodwin.com
Website: http://www.cathygoodwin.com
Contact: mailto:cathy@cathygoodwin.com 505-534-4294