I just read a headline that said “is your spouse saddling your career?” The actual content of the article aside, immediately my brain went to “are other people dictating your choices?”
I know that there will always be folks out there trying to get us to do what they want. Some will manipulate; some will negotiate; some will ask; and some will demand. There is nothing inherently wrong with hoping folks will do what you ask. What bothers me is when people command. There may be times in a project where that is required but never around personal choices.
It’s not just our partners who might try this type of power game. It’s family, friends, managers and co-workers. It’s anyone who has a vested interested in our success but might be afraid our choices will not reflect well on them. It’s a hidden reason why some people are uncomfortable with the concept of being mentored. Some folks see it as relinquishing control rather than having a caring place to sort out questions for which ultimately they must own their answers.
That’s what it comes down to - understanding and believing that YOU own your choices and answers. No good mentor should force you to take their advice (though hopefully it's good advice to begin with).
You can choose to relinquish control but don’t let it be taken away. Especially when it comes to your career and the years of your life those choices will reflect.