Trust Those Instincts
Every decision a CEO makes is based upon incomplete information, often less than 10% according to The Two Second Advantage book I recently finished. Why would career decision making be any different?
For 1000’s of years human have relied upon instincts to keep us safe, fed, and happy but somewhere in the past century we have come to believe that technology can solve all our problems. I think Daniel Pink is right about the Whole New Mind and how right brain people are important to our future, but I believe. Technology has solved so many problems, assessments allow us to quickly create a common language to explore, the Internet gives us access to information at our fingertips, but instincts is what made us who we are, and we need to encourage people to listen to those “little voices”. Our society has given us false hope that everything can be solved simply with logic and technology.
When changing careers, each person must gather as much information as they can about a possible occupation, but how much can they really know? Career advisors can encourage use of ONET and Occupational Outlook Handbook, but that is merely a snippet of information. Informational interviews are great and we can get closer to understanding a job by asking “what a typical day is like” or a “typical week”. But this still does not give us a complete picture. How will my life style change? What is the culture of the company like? Will I fit in? How do my work values mesh with the company of the position? So much information is still missing.
Each person is a puzzle. To us and to themselves. All the assessments in the world still will not give a person EVERYTHING they need to find an occupation. All the research on occupations can’t fill in all the pieces of the puzzle. At some point a person must rely upon those instincts, hunches, the gut feeling that has guided us for thousands of years. You know it when you feel it. When you meet someone and you “just like them” immediately. Or you meet someone it it “just feels creepy” or uncomfortable. Those are our instincts and we need to trust them.
Career decisions will always require factual information, logic, and common sense to help us decide, but what we really need is “expert intuition” to determine what we don’t know but do “feel”. People will never have all the information they need to make a decision, but down deep, I believe they do know. It is like Mark Savickas preaches that people will TELL you what they are thinking even before they can articulate themselves. It just comes out of their mouths as they talk to you. Decisions will come from within a person, something deep inside, something we just KNOW is right.
Trusting hunches and instincts, (with quality research) will help our clients in the decision making process and we need to encourage people to listen to those feelings and to be open to the surprises they bring.
Do you have any stories about trusting your hunches?
Jim Peacock is the Principal at Peak-Careers Consulting and writes a monthly newsletter for career practitioners. Peak-Careers offers discussion-based online seminars for career practitioners focused on meeting continuing education needs for CCSP, GCDF and BCC certified professionals as well as workshops for career practitioners and individual career coaching.
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Barry Davis says
Great post, friend Jim.
Dr. Richard Wiseman told us that “lucky” people learn to pay attention to their intuition AS WELL as their logic! He feels that we have conditioned ourselves to “turn it off” to avoid mistakes… More lost than gained, to my way of thinking!
Jim Peacock says
Agreed, that is why I liked the term “expert intuition” which I discovered in the Two Second Advantage book. Implies that you need to pay attention to intuition, but also requires some level of expertise.