… Should I quit my job if I’m miserable?
… Should I accept this job even though I have to move to an unfamiliar city?
… Should I tell my boss what I think about the new system?
… Should I take a year off for a sabbatical?
… Should I enroll in this degree program?
You may have heard the saying, “Leap and the net will appear.” That proverb actually refers to a creative leap: start writing your novel, begin a painting class, start a fitness program. As you become immersed in your project, your intuition awakens and you find new ways to express your creativity.
The truth is that increasingly we have to make decisions in a frame of uncertainty. One excellent guide to decision-making when you can’t get information is Just Start, by Schlesinger and Tierney.
The book Just Start recommends that you do SOMEthing – but not something so drastic that you risk your health, resources or career. Here are some guidelines based on the book as well as my own experience.
1. “Leap to, not from,” unless you’re standing on the ledge of a burning building.
If you feel miserable in your present situation, use your available resources to explore options. Sometimes you need to quit a job to save your sanity or avoid a treacherous situation down the road, but these decisions should not be made hastily.
2. Make a plan, even if you want to take time off to do nothing for awhile.
Learn your legal and financial realities. Will you be eligible for unemployment compensation? Don’t assume “yes” or “no;” there seems to be wide variation from one state to another, and possibly from one office to another within a state.
3. Conduct an intense information-gathering campaign. Intuition is fueled by information. Get the facts. Talk to people who have done what you want to do.
One reason to hire a coach or take courses is to get this information and (more important) get access to resources that can help with this information.
4. Avoid the temptation to ask for advice. Instead, spend time with people who will give you either information or a process for planning and decision-making. If a coach or counselor seems to have strong opinions, get a second or third opinion. Get someone to play devil’s advocate. — but ignore the wet blankets who are determined to smother your dream.
5. Stay calm and move slowly. Remember that messages of urgency (“You must do this now!”) will usually get you into trouble, whether they come from your own thoughts or from outside “experts.”
If you’re serious about making a big decision wisely, check out my Strategy Session – a valuable way to evaluate your options and move forward one step at a time. https://midlifecareerstrategy.com/careerstrategysession.html