When you are trying to decide between two different directions for your future, sometimes it can be challenging to know how to think through the options clearly enough to make a confident decision. For example, you might be trying to decide between staying on your current career path or choosing a fork in the road to embark on a new direction. Or maybe you have applied to two positions and have a good chance at both, and you don’t know what you’ll do if you are confronted with two offers. You might lean more toward logically considering all the factors, or you might be someone who relies more on their intuition to make these kinds of decisions. What else can you do?
Here are three approaches to support you in your decision-making:
1. Research and organize
Creating a “pro/con” list for each of the options allows you to evaluate the relative weights of their results, focusing on a practical way of organizing priorities and visualizing the impacts of making one decision or the other. Additional resources on WGU’s Career and Professional Development’s Career Action Plan page may also help you with an organized approach for working through your decision.
2. Use a structured reflection tool
Asking yourself some powerful questions and providing yourself some space to reflect can offer an opportunity to develop additional clarity about which direction will align best with your goals and values. This kind of reflection incorporates both practical factors and your intuition. As a start, consider this set of four questions:
- What are you fearful about losing?
- What are you fearful about gaining?
- What are you excited about losing?
- What are you excited about gaining?
Using this framework allows you to explore some new angles you may not have considered – for example, most people don’t think about what they are excited about losing, which can yield some liberating insights!
Asking them in this order lets you explore all aspects of an upcoming transition, and helps you end with enthusiasm about the opportunity. (If you use this set of questions for two different opportunities, you can compare your reactions to each one against the other for additional insight.)
Experiment with this framework of questions as you face your next transition. You can either use them to do your own written reflection, or, if you process better talking out loud, ask someone to work through the questions with you, taking notes for you, so you have a written copy to refer to later.
3. Contact WGU’s Career and Professional Development’s team for support
We’re here to help! Our Career Advisors are available to meet with you one-on-one to help you navigate career-related decisions and can offer additional tools to support you as you take your next steps. You can book an appointment with an Advisor here.
So, bring on the pros-and-cons list and your gut reactions, all of which contribute to your process! And then after that, give yourself the gift of some structured reflection and the support of a Career Advisor to help add some more depth and insight to your decision-making.