Understanding and Managing Career Decisions

Decisions, decisions, decisions! The need to make decisions surrounds you, at home and at work. In the November/December 2020 newsletter, I talked about making your own decisions. The challenge is to think independently and make decisions unduly influenced by others. We are going down the decision pathway again, but this time focused on other challenges of decision making. Perhaps, you are one of the fortunate individuals who do not struggle to decide or have regrets after. Woohoo for you!!! My term for you is a “stabilizer.” Keep reading, likely you have an employee who struggles, or you work with someone who struggles. If you work with those people, you can be a link to this information and assist them.  Likely, more of you fall into either the “ruminator” or “jumper” category. Ruminators struggle to make decisions, even small ones, and take an eternity to reach the decision. Jumpers make hasty decisions, without due diligence and regret many of their decisions. Where do you fall? I have clients who struggle with both ends of this spectrum.

If we boiled it down into the simplest of terms, the advice would be for the ruminators to speed it up and the jumpers to slow it down. I realize it isn’t quite that simple, however, if you need a rule of thumb, three words say so much. Speed it up! Slow it down! Your goal is to manage your behavior, so you become more “stabilizer” like.

The greatest gift I can give you is a powerful list of questions. When you ask these questions the “ruminator” tends to feel strengthened and is more confident in her decision making. The “jumper” tends to explore avenues she hasn’t in past decision-making situations. Though there are other questions you may need to ask, this is a wide-ranging list and initially stick with these. Ruminators, DO NOT ADD 20 more! Jumpers, DO NOT IGNORE half of them. Gain insight from your urge to add or subtract based upon your style. Here you go.

Key Questions for Sound Decision-Making

  • What are the pros and cons of pursuing each option? Which is most advantageous?
  • What is your “gut” saying? Which feels right?
  • Imagine you wake up tomorrow and have chosen option A. How do you feel? Imagine you wake up tomorrow and you have chosen option B. How do you feel?
  • How will this course of action affect the people around you? Your team? Your boss? Who will benefit, who will be hurt?
  • How do the key principles and priorities you live by apply here?
  • How well does this decision align with your career goals, short and long term?
  • If you have a significant other, what is their perspective? Perspective of key advisors?
  • What fears or inner drives are influencing your response?
  • What would it cost in terms of time and resources to do this? What would it cost you if you don’t do this? What’s the cost if you don’t decide or let circumstances overtake you?
  • What is the payoff for each option? What is the penalty for each option? Can you live with the worst-case outcome? What steps could you take to minimize the risk?
  • If I say yes to this, what am I saying no to?

I recently took a client, who is a ruminator, through this set of questions. When we had completed the questionnaire, she stated, “I know everything there is to know at this point. It comes down to me trusting that I can handle the situation if things don’t work out.  I can do something different down the road.”  Her mother had always said, “If you make your bed you have to lie in it.”  “Martha” now knows that is NOT TRUE! In the words of the Singer/Song Writer, Paul Simon, in the song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover “Make a new plan, Stan!”  Er, Martha.

If you are facing some big decisions and believe you need more guidance, ongoing coaching is just what the doctor ordered.

Email Kay@highheeledsuccess.com or call (513) 561-4288 and we will set up a time for a complimentary 45-minute consultation to determine if this could be a valuable step for you.

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