5 answers

How do you decide between multiple good options?

5
100% of 5 Pros
Asked Viewed 340 times Translate

I'm really interested in a variety of subject areas both as hobbies and as careers. Many professional careers are plausible for both making money and enjoying what you do. How did/do you decide on what career path to take and avoid regretting not taking a different path?
#education #career-path

5
100% of 5 Pros

5 answers

G. Mark’s Answer

0
Updated Translate

You need a comparison matrix. It's actually pretty easy to put this together. It's meant to be an objective way of assessing options, but let me first give a caveat. While "numbers don't lie", they don't always give you all the data you need to make a choice, simply because you often can't think of all the things that could affect the data. That being said, here's what you do.

Try to put together an exhaustive list of all the things that go into describing each option. This is called "attribute listing". It's simply a list of all the stuff that makes it up and that makes a real difference to you. Some categories might be "cost" or "color" or "opportunity for advancement" or "chances of making my friends happy" or whatever.

The next thing you do is score each of these categories as to how important you think they are. For example, for different jobs, one attribute might be how much money you could make and another might be how many hours you work a week. You can use any scale, but 1-10 is a good bet. And try to break these attributes up if necessary. For example, the amount of work you do on a job may be measured by hours, but those hours may need to be further described by how hard you work during those hours. Being a security guard, for example, may not be very hard, but the hours may be long, and still yet punctuated by short bursts of high-risk activity, depending on the job.

So you put this table together with the attributes as headings for the columns and various options as rows along the left-hand side. Then you just fill in each square with the value of the attribute multiplied by its importance. The total of all the scores for each option form another column to the right of the matrix. Best score wins.

Now, the subjective, or "feelings" part. I add this because sometimes you might look at a few options and be disappointed as to the winner or loser. My advice is to take that into consideration. You might even add a sort of "handicap" to the score. You might see that chocolate cake for dessert got a 78 and apple pie got a 50, but you really like apple pie, so you bump it up a bit and "cheat".

This not only gives you a simple tool to use, but the calculation takes your mind off the options a bit, and allows your mind to process more about the choices.

And it's kinda fun.

0

Kim’s Answer

0
Updated Translate

Hi Khoa,

You have been given some excellent advice already. My only additional thought to consider is to gain insight into your true strengths. My favorite assessment is StrengthsFinder. It will not only identify your top true strengths, but will offer insight into what that means to your potential career choices. You may also see the linkages between your strengths and your specific areas of interest. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide to pursue.

Kim recommends the following next steps:

  • Research the StrengthsFinder assessment to determine your level of interest and its application to your need.
  • Take the assessment and review the resulting report for insight into potential career options.
  • Retain the report for future reference as your career progresses.
0

Austin’s Answer

0
Updated Translate

Hi Khoa,

This is really the million dollar question isn't it. Choosing what to do is perhaps the hardest things that working professionals have to do especially if you have multiple good options. I decide between multiple good options by weighing the opportunity cost; by this I mean by choosing X what I am giving up by not being able to pursue Y. This a good way to help you figure out what is the "right" path to take. Choose the option that has the lesser opportunity cost, if the cost of choosing Y is greater than than choosing X then you should pick X. Just know that there is always a cost in a decision but this should not deter you from making decision, its part of life. You won't be able to do everything and this is totally okay!!


Also, by choosing X you are not committing your immortal sole for doing something forever. You can totally change jobs and careers if you choose to do so and this happens frequently. I quit my first job after 7 months of work and am in a new job that I completely love (and I did this at 23 years old).


I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!!


Best,

Austin

0

Sophie’s Answer

0
Updated Translate

I usually do a pro-con list, and give a value to each point in the list, as some aspect may weight more than others. After I'm done, the right course of action usually becomes clear :)

0

Katie’s Answer

0
Updated Translate

As a senior in high school, I was struggling to decide between journalism and engineering. My mother gave me some great advice. She told me that I should major in engineering while the math and science were still fresh in my brain because she felt those subjects would be hard to pick up if I pursued a career in journalism and changed my mind down the road. (My mom earned her degree when I was 12, so she knew what it was like to be a non-traditional student.)


I have never regretted majoring in Chemical Engineering and was able to find other ways in both college and my career to continue to use my writing skills.

0