Job Search Tip of the Week #3 (2018)

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How to Make Wiser Decisions

Deciding With More Confidence & Speed


Get your head out of the clouds and make a decision!


You face a myriad of decisions during your job search: What content should you include in your résumé, and how should you format it? How much time should you dedicate each day to your job search efforts? How much time should you allocate to each job search method? Should you work with a recruiter? How many résumés should you send out each day? Who should you follow up with today, and when? How do you choose between multiple job offers?

Sometimes the hiring process moves quickly, which means you may have to make some of the aforementioned decisions speedily and with confidence. Here are four tips on how to reach wiser conclusions faster, adapted and modified from Lauren F. Friedman’s “Pick One Already!” in Psychology Today:

  1. Trust Yourself

  2. Two heads aren’t always better than one, according to a recent study in Psychological Science, which found that loss of perspective is the cost of collaboration. Joint decision-makers tend to be more confident in their decisions than individuals, and thus more reluctant to revise their judgments when presented with contradictory information. Individuals tend to consider outside input more carefully, which leads to better decision-making overall.

  3. Décidez en Français

  4. Thinking in a non-native tongue in which you are proficient but not fluent may help you make decisions based more on logic instead of emotion, suggests a recent Psychological Science study. How does that work? To put it simply, we feel less when using a foreign language. Words in our second language have less of an emotional impact on us since they’re not rooted as deeply in associations and memories as our native tongue.

  5. Don’t Overthink

  6. A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that we associate difficulty with importance. Thus, if a decision feels difficult, we’ll perceive it as important and spend more time evaluating it and seeking alternatives, which inevitably increases the decision’s complexity. Prevent yourself from sinking in this decision quicksand by assessing the impact of your decision before you attempt to make it.

  7. Stop Rationalizing

  8. We use rationalization as a defense mechanism for our self esteem and confidence. After making a poor decision, we often try to convince ourselves that we’ve chosen wisely by making excuses and overreaching justifications. In psych speak, we engage in confirmation bias, in which we actively seek out and assign weight to evidence that supports the belief that we made a good decision and ignore or disvalue information that would prove otherwise. To stop rationalizing, revisit the problem while keeping in mind that your initial decision was not inevitable.



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Image/Comic Credits: Forbes, Ted Goff, Roy Lichtenstein, WeKnowMemes, Bill Watterson