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A Nifty Career Decision Tool

23 May 2022
  • Apply for that stretch job?
  • Pivot in a new career direction?
  • Undertake that expensive year long training?
  • Choose this course or that course?
  • Take on that leadership role?
  • Approach that individual as a mentor?
  • Have a catch up with that past colleague?
  • Post/Comment on that article on Linked In?

In any flourishing career there are a wealth of decisions to make.  For most decisions a good approach is to trust your instincts that you know best.  Trusting your instincts means intentionally (e.g. through mindfulness, through reflection, through quiet time) tune into the best version of yourself (e.g. consult your values, or things such as your purpose, or your mission statement) and deeply listen to your own wisdom*.

For more complex decisions that have unpredictable outcomes it is useful to support your instincts with a little data.  In these circumstances here is one approach you can try:

  • Write the dilemma you have as a yes/no question e.g. "Will I apply for the acting leadership role in my team?"
  • On a large piece of paper draw a 2 x 2 box labelling the vertical axis Pros - Cons, and the horizontal axis Do - Don't (see below).
  • Then examine each box, starting with the Pros/Do box, and write all the positive elements of doing what you are considering.
  • Move onto the Pros/Don't box and write all the positive elements of not doing what you are considering.
  • Thirdly, in the Cons/Do box write all the negative elements of doing what you are considering.
  • And finally, in the Cons/Don't box write all the negative elements of not doing what you are considering.
  • Now go back to each box and weight each element (I suggest out of 5) for the level of importance it has for you.  For example in the Cons/Do box you may have something like "Will have to travel away from my family each month if I get it" and you give this a 5 because this is something that you know will have a big impact.
  • An optional step is to give each box an average score by adding together the weights and dividing this number by the total number of elements in the box.  (For some people this is a vital step to do, for others simply weighting the elements is enough)
  • Make five dot points about what you discovered by doing this.
  • Now sleep on it and come back to the decision fresh.
  1. The next day decide if your decision is:
    Hell Yes! - In which case write it up as a goal, set strategies to support it, and get into action - go you!
  2. Makes Sense - In which case it is valuable to consult wider, do more research, and gather more data.  Make sure to set a timeframe for this further deliberation so you don't get lost at this stage.
  3. Still Unsure - A good approach here is to decide that your answer is NO for a day.  The next day reflect on what you learnt through letting it go.
  4. Not a Chance - Move on and let the next career opportunity come along knowing it is an abundant world.
  5. pro cons do dong

  6. As always wishing you a flourishing career


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