We’ve all been faced with difficult choices in our lives. Sometimes it’s choosing between two (or more!) fantastic job opportunities—which might or might not involve moving to a new company, or a new city. Other times it’s about what your career track itself will look like, such as whether you want to shift to part-time or freelance work in order to spend more quality time with your children for a few years.
Regardless of the circumstances, it can be difficult to even determine the best methodology for making your decision. Therefore we suggest that, as a tool for self-improvement, you practice some methods for making decisions with smaller, less life-changing decisions. Then you will learn which tools work best for you, and have confidence in your ability when the time comes to use them for those decisions that will have greater consequences.
- One of the first questions to ask yourself is whether you are the type of person who makes decisions best in the silence of your own thoughts, or by bouncing your ideas off other people. If you tend toward doing it yourself, then making a chart or a grid is a good idea. Include the criteria that really matter to you, and rate each option based on those criteria. Make sure that you include all types of criteria, from a financial cost/benefit analysis to your own potential for growth, experience or connections made in the new work environment. Make sure to do this over the course of a few days, giving yourself a chance to think of other criteria and/or other issues that need to be considered.
- Another methodology is to role play each option. This involves imagining what life would be like in each situation, and even acting it out (in the silence of your home office, or with a trusted sidekick if you want someone to add realism to the situation). What would it be like to have the role of X at Y company? Would you be proud to be connected with them, doing this new work? Would you look forward to the new challenges and opportunities?
- If you make decisions better by talking them out with someone else, then find a trusted someone to talk it over with. In this case, you want to pay attention to what you are saying, and how you are talking about each option. This is because, in many cases, our subconscious or intuition has some pretty clear ideas about each option, but we’re seldom easily able to get in touch with that level. Instead, listen to yourself working to convince the other person why you should—or should not—take job X or Y, and why. Those will be pretty clear indicators of the path you should take.
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