Positive Uncertainty: 4 Principles to Guide Career-Based Decision Making

Positive Uncertainty - Guide Career-Based Decision Making

From Pliny the Elder to John Allen Paulos, a vast sea of individuals have explored the concrete certainties of our world. In true irony, the common sentiment among all of life’s philosophical explorers is that they’re positively certain, nothing in life is…certain.

When it comes to selecting a career pathway, the uncertainty of when to accept a job placement becomes a prevalent woe. The worker’s compensation industry and insurance recruitment spaces are no exception to this reality. When working with your BKG talent acquisition firm to find the perfect career fit, you will be presented with exciting decisions! It is understandable this process may feel overwhelming. So much so, H.B. Gelatt, an expert in decision making, curated an entire philosophy about decision making during uncertain times.

Principle #1: Be focused and flexible about what you want

Often when we set a goal, we become fixed on the path to achieving it. With this fixed perspective we may fail to see other career opportunities that exist outside of one’s set plan.

Bearing this in mind, I invite you to sit down with your favorite notebook and outline your three-, five-, and ten-year goals. Now take those goals, flip them upside down, and reimagine a world without them. This may feel counter-intuitive, and well, it is. Leaning into the idea that variation on your life’s journey may occur and becoming mentally prepared to greet those opportunities with openness is pivotal career-based decision making.

Principle #2: Be aware and wary about what you know

During your job search it is integral to “do your homework” and read up on the organizations you aspire to join. Despite what we may obtain through web searches, LinkedIn, and word-of-mouth accounts, there are always discoveries to be made throughout the employment process. During the initial interview stages, it’s simply not realistic to know everything about an employer. At this juncture leaning into the unknown carves a path intuition to guide you in your employment decision-making process. As Gelatt states, “when making decisions, what you don’t know is as important as what you do know.”

Principle #3: Be realistic and optimistic about what you believe

Within us all are malleable belief systems. I believe the sky is blue…however, on a gloomy day you may believe the sky is grey. Bending my belief to allow for this grey area widens my perspective and opens the door for collaborative exploration.

Let’s take this idea into the workplace. Have you ever heard the phrase, “you don’t know, what you don’t know?” Holding a realistic perspective about your belief systems allows for space to learn from others on your team. I offer that being “all knowing” is ultimately understanding when to open your mind to alternative perspectives, not having all the information on hand.

Principle #4: Be practical and magical about what you do

Arguably the most important, the fourth and final principle to guide career-based decision-making invites you to utilize tools you inherently hold: your head and your heart.

Being practical and utilizing your logical mind provides the structure to guide the decision-making process. This is the factual knowing that provides boundaries as you navigate your career journey. Being magical and listening to your heart providers a more instinctual form of knowing. Think about a time something just didn’t feel right despite the facts saying it was…that’s your heart chiming in. I’ll let you in on a secret here. The true key to making holistic decisions is seeking alignment between your practical thinking and magical feeling!

If there’s one key takeaway to glean from Gelatt’s teachings, it’s career-based decision-making doesn’t have to be rigid and daunting. Adapting the process utilizing the above principles is sure to bring excitement and creativity into the mix. Consider this your open invite to transform your career journey through the Positive Uncertainty principles!