At some point in your career you will reach a crossroads where there is a decision to be made. It may be that an opportunity arises either internally in terms of a promotion or externally from another company. Or it may be that you have decided that it is time for a change, whether it is being unchallenged, under appreciated or even unhappy in your current position that brings that on. However you end up at the crossroads, you will have to make a decision on which road to take.
A recent study showed that almost 90% of people that have changed jobs at speed had regretted making a rushed decision. Whatever the reason or influencing factor, we are all capable of making the wrong choice when we are hasty, so how do we minimise the risk, assess the options properly and take our time?
Decision-making is a process that is different for each of us. Some people like to collect as much information as possible before making a decision, while others are comfortable with little information. Some make decisions intuitively, others like to discuss things, and some rely on other methods to weigh up their options. None is necessarily right or wrong, but bearing in mind the statistic above, it’s probably better to be as informed as possible to make a positive career choice, even if it is in the shortest time possible! Here are a few methods you could try if you’re wrestling with a decision:
- Advisers: talking the decision through with trusted friends or family can help, particularly for a fresh perspective
- Experts: if the subject matter is outside of your adviser’s comfort zone or scope of knowledge, seek out an expert. A tutor, a recruitment consultant, or a contact in the sector will all be well placed to provide guidance or advice.
- Lists: a pros and cons list is still a fantastic tool – seeing the reasons for or against in black and white on the page or screen can really help
- History: think back to previous decisions you have made, good and bad, and how you came to reach them. Use or reject those previous methodologies depending on the results.
While these tools will help create the headspace to think clearly, there are also traps and pitfalls to be mindful of at the same time:
- Come back to the solid reasons that the crossroads is in front of you – FOMO (fear of missing out), itchy feet, or the grass being greener elsewhere are not reliable reasons
- Happiness is relative – unless your advisers or experts are on exactly the same page as you, remember that their idea of a dream move may not be yours
- Loyalty – an increasingly out-dated concept that you may be warned about – these days it’s OK to move more often than previous generations. Recent research shows that millennials move jobs on average four times before they are 32.
If you are struggling to make a career decision, we would be happy to talk your situation through with you and give you some independent advice.