Imagine that you just received a call from a colleague asking if you’d consider leaving your longtime job to go work for her startup. The offer includes equity ownership, a VP title and the promise of a big payday down the road. You love your job, but this sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. c
What do you do?
While this scenario is fictitious, the need to make tough career decisions is anything but. Sometimes — by asking smart questions, doing research, weighing options and talking things over with trusted advisers — we can reach decisions quickly. But other times, no matter how much we analyze, ponder and ruminate, the right answer remains elusive.
In my work as a career coach, I’ve found that when coming up with that right answer is tough, an online decision-making tool can prove invaluable.
Decision-making tools add a layer of objectivity, structure and (sometimes) quantitative analysis that thinking alone can’t provide. And you can now easily download free templates for them online.
change jobs or make a decision to retire early, there often is no one “right” answer. But by using a tool that helps you methodically evaluate your options, you’ll feel more confident that your decision is sound.
So the next time you’re struggling to break through a mental logjam, here are four tools to consider:
1. Decision Matrix (also known as the Pugh Method)
A basic decision matrix uses a scoring template to systematically evaluate all the factors and criteria used when making a decision. You then arrive at a final score to reveal which option is best. The quantitative nature of this tool helps remove the subjectivity from the decision process.
You’ll need to create a chart with the alternative decisions listed as rows and the relevant factors affecting the decisions as columns. For example, if you want to choose between staying in your current role or accepting a higher-paying transfer, list those two decisions as rows. The factors impacting those choices, such as salary, work hours and growth potential, would be listed as columns.
Then, assign a rating value to each of the factors under consideration for each option. In this example, you might assign salary a “7” if you stay in your current job but an “8” for a transfer (since the transfer would involve a slight pay increase). After you give each factor a score, add up the total score for each option. The option with ...
Nancy Collamer is an author, speaker and recognized expert on semi-retirement. She writes a monthly blog for the PBS site NextAvenue.org (and Forbes.com) and is the author of Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement. She is an engaging speaker who has presented at corporations, associations and numerous universities. Her talks focus on retirement, second-act careers and reinvention. She holds an MS in career development from the College of New Rochelle and a BA in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also certified as a retirement coach.