Time to decide
Question I asked my jobcoach (someone from the dole office that should help you finding new opportunities, they haven’t been much help yet. As everything that I did or found they could not help me with.) I am at a career crossroads with two viable but very different options to consider. One is a job on a cruiseliner as a bartender and the other one might be a reasonable chance on a contract with the bus company. So I asked her “What suggestions do you have about sorting through them and making a decision?”
Answer from my jobcoach: This comes down to knowing yourself and thinking carefully about the likely short- and long-term results of each choice.
That is a correct answer but can I do something with this answer or is it again actually what they say: “Sorry we don’t know but you have to sort it out on your own.” To give you an impression about how the phone conversation went with this young lady who did a study in communication for years. We talked for half an hour about actually nothing. I was left with more questions than answers.
The conversation part about the inner game
Before thinking about the options, think about yourself. Consider what you like best about your professional life, how you'd like your days to be occupied, the amount of structure you prefer, the amount of interaction as part of a team — all of the concrete and intangible aspects that go into professional satisfaction.
Think, too, about how you'd prefer work to fit as a part of life as a whole. You may want to put a lot of attention on career or business building, or you may be looking for more flexibility and balance. There is no right or wrong here; however, understanding your preferences will help you evaluate your choices.
Remember to assess your financial requirements so that you are clear about your needs in terms of compensation and benefits.
Once you've immersed yourself in thinking about how you'd like to live your life, consider each option in turn. Try closing your eyes and imagining yourself in the new role. Walk yourself through a day or a week, and don't just take the happy path. Also imagine the hard days and notice how you feel about the challenges you'd face. Also think about how each fits with your professional and personal preferences.
The part about the outer game
I assume from your description of the options as "viable" that you have looked at the pragmatic aspects. If not, be sure that you're doing so, creating a financial plan or investigating the compensation and benefits so that you don't come up short.
Get some sounding board help, talking to friends, family and advisers you can trust to give you feedback. Keep in mind that their own biases and preferences may show up, and also remember that it's your decision and that you must make it for yourself. That being said, input from others will be a valuable resource in clarifying your next steps.
There may be questions that have arisen from your reflections on the positions. If so, gather more information from others. For example potential employers who are part of your potential next steps.
The inner game revisited
To get to your goal of a confident decision, return to a reflective mode. Incorporate all the information from the above phases, and notice which option is more attractive. Try closing the door on each and see how that feels. Which alternative is more energizing? Where do you feel more loss from leaving the option behind?
You may feel some anxiety about making a decision. This can go with the territory, but take an honest look to see if it reflects a genuine concern that needs to be addressed. Otherwise, you may just have to accept that jitters are part of moving forward, and that once you've decided, you don't need to second-guess your choice.
Summary of the conversation
Reflect, consult and reflect again to arrive at a well-grounded decision.
My jobcoach is a credentialed coach with more than 12 years of experience. How can you tell people these kind of things if actually never ever had a real job in the real world. How can the government be so blind to waste so much money on these idiots. Just put up a sign with the text “Sort things out yourself.”
Hmmm.....has anyone a better suggestion? I am really in doubt and I need to get my act together as I will need to make a decission soon. Why is life so complicated if it comes to deciding?
The Old Sailor,