Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...
Take a moment and think back about the major decisions you’ve made in your lifetime. Count them. How many did you come up with? Six or seven? More or less, possibly depending on where you are in life and also possibly depending on what you define as a ‘major’ decision. Perhaps going to college and attending Seattle University made your list? Perhaps selecting or changing your major seemed like a big decision at the time? Usually in retrospect, decisions that seemed big or overwhelming at the time tend to seem less so after the fact. Perhaps getting married, having kids or moving to a new state or country were choices you have made or will make in the future. Perhaps going to graduate school or buying a house, both major investments, are decisions you have or will make. When we approach decisions that are likely to bring changes to our lives, it can bring on feelings of stress and anxiety. Being stressed or overwhelmed may not leave you in the best state of mind to make a good decision.
So how are we to reduce the stress and feeling of being overwhelmed? How do we define a ‘good’ decision? For our purposes here, I suggest that a ‘good’ decision is one that is well informed and fully thought out. When we realize that we make decisions constantly, everyday, for example when to wake up, what to wear, what to eat, we can see there are many opportunities to explore our decision making process. By exploring our decision making process, we can gain awareness of our tendencies and it is this awareness that is the most effective leverage to improve. Are you the type who either dreads or postpones decisions for as long as possible? Always seeking more information or more possibilities? Or are you the type who is quick and decisive; taking action and pondering the consequences later? Exploring your preferences with a career services professional can help you appreciate your strengths while recognizing your blind spots.
So what decisions are you facing at the moment? What decisions are you putting off? Get on with it. Break it down into these four smaller steps*.
1. Get the information and facts you need.
2. Consider the possibilities and consequences.
3. Weigh the pros and cons and look at the decision objectively.
4. Consider your values and who is impacted by your choice.
Some of these steps will feel easy and natural while others may feel uncomfortable and challenging. By ensuring you work your way through each of these steps, you can add confidence in your balanced approach and in your final decision.
*Note that these four steps are based on the Jungian, Myers-Briggs model.
Career Services offers support to our alumni who may be seeking a change. Whether a change of perspective, position, employer or career path, we are here to assist you. Below you will find a list of career services we offer to alumni:
§ 3 one-on-one advising appointments per year
§ Access to the Redhawk Network, a database of employers and job postings
§ Involvement in career fairs and other professional networking events
Visit Career Services to get more details and register for relevant events today!