There are days I don’t want to be a grown up and made decisions. It is just too hard. There are times I want to call up my best friend and say, “tell me what to do.” She in turn would tell me in the kindest and gentlest way to suck it up. So as a grown up I pop in my earbuds and dance it out until I exhaust myself and it seems to make it easer.
The problem isn’t that the decision is hard; the difficulty lies in the possible repercussions could be brutal. Because there is a loser.
There are all sorts of theories and suggestions for making a decision like writing out the pros and cons, go with your gut, sleep on it for a couple of days or ask for opinions of knowledgeable people. All of these can be valid depending upon what works for you.
Sometimes you have to employ different techniques to make a decision based on the situation. I for one have never felt quite right about listing out the pros and cons when making a decision about a person – it seems kind of weird to me. If I have to reduce someone to a list I think that should tell me something right there.
But today I am talking about making a decision in terms of job searching and career advancement. Many times I talk to clients and they tell me they really are not sure what they want to do right now or going forward.
It is almost as though they have been beaten down so much that the thought of trying to determine what a positive next step would be seems too grueling. Almost as though they do not trust themselves to make that decision because their latest ones haven’t worked out so well.
Let me offer another suggestion when trying to make a decision – think about what you don’t want.
Sometimes it isn’t about finding something that fits all ten of your requirements for must haves rather finding something that doesn’t fit any of your absolutely nots.
In determining what you do not want it allows you greater flexibility when evaluating opportunities. It helps you break free of your box.
For example if you know that there are certain aspects of jobs that you absolutely detest then make a list of them. When you evaluate job opportunities check to see if any of these show up. If they do not then take a second look at the job to see if this is something that might excite or interest you.
It could be in a new industry or completely different position – and since you may not be very clear on what it is you want why not give it a shot?
I hate filing, I hate follow-up paperwork and I really detest playing politics. I do file, I complete my follow up paperwork and I am good at playing politics but if I had my choice all three would be completely eliminated.
So if I were looking for a job I would steer away from anything with heavy emphasis on the paperwork aspect and also probably stay out of large corporate arenas. Knowing my limitations helps me build upon my strengths and discover new opportunities for learning new things.
If you have a decision between two offers look at your absolutely not list – which one has fewer checkmarks? Approaching it from a different angle could help you make a decision and help you clarify the opportunities that are in front of you.
If nothing else – try dancing it out, just make sure the blinds are closed if you want to avoid awkward future moments with your neighbors.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.