The Unfortunate Truth About Indecision

Are you the type of person who is constantly going back and forth when trying to make a decision? Especially when it comes to spending money or making long term choices? Do you second guess decisions or purchases after you’ve made them? I am here to tell you the flip-flopper affliction is not going to get better on its own and it can be very self-defeating in your job search.


The job search is all about making decisions. Big decisions that will affect every aspect of your future. How much money you’ll make, who you’ll spend most of your time with, and how satisfied you’ll be in life in general. The key is that its the little choices you make now that will ultimately affect those larger decisions. Which companies should you apply to? What training should you take? Where should you spend your time networking?


If you can’t seem to nail any of these down, take a look in the mirror and a look down the road. Who are you? What is important to you? What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? If you can’t answer these questions, then your job search is likely to be all over the place. Which leads you down a path of trial-and-error vs go-out-and-get career path.


Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Learn to take advice. Your friends and family will tire of hearing you ask for advice all the time if you never take head to any of it. At some point making a decision and sticking to it is better than not making a decision at all.
  2. Get clear about what it is you want in the long term and then shape your near decisions in directions that lead you towards those long term goals. Some people get hung up on this, what if what I want changes or I am wrong. That is ok! For now, some kind of direction is better than no direction.
  3. Learn to live with your decisions. You know how some people will stop in the middle of traffic and cut people off and almost (and sometimes do) cause accidents to make a left-hand turn they are missing? The right choice is to live with it keep going forward and make a U-turn at a safe location. If you find yourself in a job or situation you don’t like or wasn’t what you expected, look ahead and see where you can safely turn around or get off the bus. You wouldn’t get off while it's moving if you missed your stop, would you?
  4. Make a plan with a backup plan. People don’t jump out of planes without parachutes, that would be crazy, but they do it all the time with a secure safety net. You’ll be more likely to march ahead and not second guess yourself if you know you’ll make it to the other side of the leap in one piece.
  5. Work on it with your coach. If you're working with a career or life coach, if they haven't discovered it already, make sure they know this is a skill you'd like to develop. 


I don’t want to imply there is anything wrong with you, indecision is common but it can also hinder your job search in ways you may not be aware of. Employers want to hire people who can work unsupervised, make sound decisions, and be confident representatives for the business. If you’re the kind of person who says “I don’t know”, “I’m not sure”, “...but what if” all the time, it may be a reason you’re never on the #1 pick list. Not being sure if you’re applying to the right jobs can show in the misalignment of your resume to the job descriptions, lowering your chances of selection before you ever hit submit.


Making resolute decisions is a skill, one that will serve you well in your life and career. It is also one that can be honed. If you struggle with this, make it a point to learn to get better at it today (make that decision!) Ultimately, you can take control of your destiny or let the universe bounce you around like a pinball.


Stay gold!



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