Whether you’re trying to figure out if you should look for a new, quit your current one, or are deciding between multiple offers, big decisions are rarely easy. In many instances, this choice could have a serious impact on your life, and “sleeping on it” can only get you so far.
If you’re feeling a bit stuck, try employing one of these proven tactics to gain some clarity. At the very least, you’ll usually be able to learn from these decisions and make even better ones going forward.
- The 10/10/10 Rule
A strategy developed by author Suzy Welch, this rule takes the various consequences into consideration, including the long-term ones, which we often have a tendency to leave out. The 10/10/10 Rule can be used to reflect on the future by asking:
- How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now?
- How about 10 months from now?
- How about 10 years from now?
While we make tons of decisions based on what will impact us in the immediate future, it takes a bit more thought to determine how these choices will affect us down the road. If you’re wondering whether or not to get that certification, have a conversation with your boss, or accept a job that perhaps pays more but will take up most of your time, try to think about how you’ll feel today, 10 months from today and 10 years from today.
- Regret Minimization Framework
Jeff Bezos applied what he refers to as the Regret Minimization Framework to make the decision to leave his job at a hedge fund to start Amazon. Here’s how he describes the mental model:
“If you can project yourself out to age 80 and sort of think, ‘What will I think at that time?’ it gets you away from some of the daily pieces of confusion. That’s the kind of thing that in the short-term can confuse you, but if you think about the long-term then you can really make good life decisions that you won’t regret later.”
This type of mentality is helpful for anyone faced with a big decision that can have a major effect (both professionally and personally). Could that new job offer you something that you’d someday regret not taking? At age 80, will you wish you had spent less time on work you didn’t find valuable or impactful? These are big questions to consider.
- The Circle of Competence
This method has been used by Warren Buffet as a way to identify promising investors, but can actually be applied to a wide range of decisions. The Circle of Competence theory suggests you determine your strengths, instead of your weaknesses, and zero in on them. Once you figure out what your aptitudes are and where you have competence, you can make decisions based on these qualities. Perhaps you’re outstanding at certain tasks that are needed in a job posting you come across, and you’re not currently recognized or regarded for this skill in your current job. Or maybe you’re aware of the skill level in one area that’s necessary in order excel at a company that you don’t posses. That’s okay, no one is great at everything! But being aware of your strengths will help you make decisions that can excel your career and provide a greater sense of purpose.
The next time you’re faced with a decision, whether it’s going for that promotion or applying at a company you’re on the fence about, one of these methods may come in handy. Don’t discount your intuition, often times that gut feeling is onto something! But a strategic approach in decision-making can go a long way in finding a great job and simplifying the whole process.