Did you know that 75% of all digital workers are looking to change jobs in the next two to three years? And that 40% of all employees are actively job searching now in 2022? You're not alone in wondering if your current job is the right fit for you.
In this article I will show you the best ways to make a decision about your career through your intuition, journaling, and critical decision making. All of these techniques are designed to help you figure out the right answer and feel more confident in your decision.
If you're a more analytical person, you may want to jump to the third section for a more structured approach to decision making. But for now, let's begin by getting into your heart and out of our heads.
Start with your intuition
I often get caught up in my mind when I'm making a difficult decision. I overanalyze what choice I should make and what the best option is. I can get stuck in analysis paralysis going back and forth over and over again. Sound familiar?
The trick to getting insight on your job conundrum is tuning into your intuition – or as some people call it, listening to your gut or heart.
As one of the coaches at Savviest, I am a huge proponent of using intuitive practices to better understand the answer to challenging questions like these. There is so much insight we can access just by listening into our body without thinking.
Exercise #1: Intuitive decision making ✨
To begin, find a quiet space where you can reflect for 10-15 minutes.
Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths.
In your minds eye, visualize grabbing an imaginary box, open it and put all of your current worries and anxieties about the job search in there. They will be there when you need them, but right now focus on this exercise.
Now that you have a clean mind, begin to ask the question you want to ask, "Is my current job a good fit for me?"
What subtle changes do notice in your body? Does it feel more expansive or restricted? Do you feel more open or closed?
If you felt more closed as you think about whether your current position is the right fit, it could be indicating that you already know it is time to move to a new job. If you feel more open as you did this exercise, it could mean this role is still working for you.
This type of somatic work can be extremely beneficial to making progress in a career decision. However, if it can also be difficult if you are not used to doing practices like these. Try it out and let me know what you think! Seriously. Book a meeting with and let me know
Now, let's take a different approach to determining if your current position is the right fit... by imagining yourself at your own funeral.
Reflect and write your own eulogy ✍️
I was skeptical at first, but writing my own eulogy is one of the most powerful exercises I have ever done. By looking deeply at who I want to be at the end of my life, I got insight into what I value most in life.
The exercise, popularized by Daniel Harkavy in Living forward, can be applied to many different areas (relationship, values, hobbies, health etc), but it is particularly beneficial in career and whether a job is the right fit for you.
We are going to take a slight variation on the eulogy approach. Instead of writing our own eulogy, we will just be imagining what other people are saying about us at our own funeral.
Exercise #2: Imagine you are watching your funeral ✨
Again, find some quiet time for reflection. I recommend at least 15-20 minutes.
Have a pen and notepad to write down your thoughts.
Now, begin thinking about what your loved ones to say about you at your funeral. Pay particular attention to what they are saying about your work life. What are they saying that you liked about the work you did?
This exercise helps us get past the short term challenges you may be facing. By reflecting on the end of our life we can better understand what long term fulfillment, values, and happiness looks like.
You may have trouble with this exercise and that's totally fine. One alternative that is more approachable is to imagine yourself 20 years older than you are now. Would your older self want you to stay in this job? What decision will you look back on and be proud of having taken?
Now, let's move to our final exercise which is more analytical and can help you weigh the pros and cons of your current role.
Use Ben Franklin's decision making tool 📝
This simple tool is amazing for reasoning through complex situations like whether your current job is a good fit for you
The tool was invented by Ben Franklin in order to help him make better decisions. He explains:
Divide half a sheet of paper by a line into two columns, writing over the one pro, and over the other con. Then during three or four day’s consideration I put down under the different heads short hints of the different motives that at different times occur to me for or against the measure.
When I have thus got them all together in one view, I endeavor to estimate their respective weights; and where I find two, one on each side, that seem equal, I strike them both out.
The beauty of this is that it gets us into our analytical brain. We can reason and think through how important each pro and con is for us in the decision. We may like the boss at our current job, but the pay isn't good enough. Or perhaps there is no upward mobility, but it provides a nice quality of life.
Some other factors to take into account could be things like:
- Feeling acknowledged for your work
- Ability to learn and grow
- Company mission I align with
The activity below uses a slightly modified version of the Benjamin Franklin decision making process which I feel is more effective.
Exercise #3: The tool in action✨
Take a piece of paper and on the top of it write a decision you are struggling with.
Make a table of pros and cons for each decision
Add a column (I) for importance and a column (P) for probability.
Importance is how important the pro or con is to you and Probability is how likely it is to happen if you take that decision.
After you have everything together, multiply I x P and you get your weight. Add up all the weights and you have your decision.
Below is an awesome summary of this that I found online at SmartDraw.
We've discussed three powerful ways to move you from uncertainty to certainty in your career decisions. Whether you stay in your current job or not, you will have the confidence that you making the right choice.
I am one of the cofounders of Savviest, a platform that connects you to top coaches and powerful job hunting tools. Check us out and sign up for a career coaching strategy session today.