So why start a blog about decision making? Yes, I’ve always been awful at making decisions, but when did this become a big issue? It became a big issue when, after graduating and completing an unpaid internship, I turned down a paid internship that could well have led to a full time paid job with a great organisation, lovely people, in just the right location, simply because it didn’t feel right. Stupid? Probably. Maximising? Almost definitely. Over-analysing? Certainly not. Following my gut or falling into every psychological trap there is going? A bit of both I’d say.
The only way I can claim my sanity after turning down a great opportunity during a recession (or just after, not quite sure what’s happening with the economy at the moment but there definitely still aren’t many jobs around) is by giving one reason. The actual work itself just wasn’t the direction I wanted to go in (not that I’m even sure what direction I do want to go in), even if it was working in the right sector. I’ll be honest, I still can’t work out whether my choice was brave or stupid. One moment I think I’m a complete idiot, the next I think this particular opportunity just wasn’t right for me. Will I ever know? Was there even a right decision at all?
It’s so easy to be swayed by others’ opinions, and to get caught up in the emotion of making a pretty big decision in a limited amount of time (I had two days and was tired and stressed out about making the choice). I guess the thing I’m struggling to work out is: Did I go with a true gut feeling that it just wasn’t right for me? I knew I was taking a risk but at the time I thought I was up for that. Or did I simply fall into psychological traps and try to maximise? I’ve never been keen on the idea of being stuck in an office from 9 to 5 everyday and I hadn’t enjoyed previous similar work, but sometimes you’ve just got to compromise. I’m also rubbish at commitment – I always want to try new things and explore the options. Did I just take the coward’s way out, the easy option, to keep looking? Or was I innocently holding on to other dreams and ideals?