A Decision-Making Framework

In my last blog I explored decision-making as a complex process influenced by clarity, inner wisdom, and resilience. In this post, I begin to identify common career change dilemmas, written with teachers and the other caring professions in mind.

A major decision that many of us have to make at some point in our careers is whether or not we should make a change. The ‘should I stay or should I go?’ question is particularly hard for teachers where guilt (of leaving) plays its part. To help you with your decision, I’d like to suggest a framework to help you assess the key factors which will enhance the likelihood of you finding the clarity you need to make an informed decision as to whether you continue teaching in the classroom or embark on a new path.

1. Assess job satisfaction – analyse (without agonising) what you like and dislike about your current role and take a long deep look at what has prompted the idea of changing careers. Sometimes shifting the position you are coming from in your current role or tweaking what you do and how you do it, can make the difference you need. Consider your values, skills and personal vision. Consider aspects such as work-life balance, job security, opportunities to make progress, relationships with colleagues and management. Identifying the aspects that bring you joy and those that cause dissatisfaction will provide insights into whether staying or leaving is the right choice.

2. Define your career goals – reflect on your aspirations, both personal and professional. Consider whether your current job aligns with your ambitions and provides a platform for growth and development. Evaluate whether the organisation’s culture and values resonate with your own. Having a clear vision of your desired future can guide you in determining whether staying in your current job will help you make progress towards your goals, or if it is time to explore new opportunities elsewhere. lives

3 Explore growth and learning opportunities – continual growth and learning are vital for professional satisfaction. Assess the opportunities for skill development and career advancement within your current job. Consider if your organisation offers training programmes, mentorship, or projects that enable you to enhance your knowledge and expertise. Evaluate whether your current role allows you to challenge yourself and learn new things. If your job lacks growth potential and you feel stagnant, it may be an indication that seeking a new challenge outside of your current position is necessary.

4. Weigh financial considerations – financial wellbeing is a significant aspect to consider when contemplating a job change. Evaluate your current salary and benefits and compare it to industry standards and your financial obligations. Assess the potential financial implications of leaving your job, such as unemployment or a potentially lower salary in a new role. Striking a balance between financial security and personal fulfilment is essential in making an informed decision. But don’t assume you are going to have to accept a lower salary – aim for equivalency or higher!

5. Trust your instincts – while logic and reasoning is important, intuition (your innate wisdom) plays a role in decision-making. Tune into your instincts and listen to your inner voice. Pay attention to how you feel about your current job and any signals that create feelings of excitement or discontentment. Trust your gut feelings, as they can often provide valuable insights and guide you towards the right decision for your wellbeing and personal growth.

On one side of the coin, deciding whether to stay or leave teaching and deciding whether or not to change career requires careful consideration. On the other side of the coin, is knowing that you have the right to do work that you love and if a change is needed for you to achieve that, then it could be that it’s time to take the next step.

Photo Credit: Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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