How do you make life-changing decisions?
January 6, 2014 9:31 AM Subscribe
How do you go about making huge decisions that will significantly impact every aspect of your life? Is there a system or method for doing this well?
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (34 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I am considering leaving my current job (I expect to be laid off in the next year or two anyway) and going to law school with an eye to practicing in a field of law that relates to my work history. I have been accepted for this fall at excellent schools where I currently live and where most of my family lives, so in addition to deciding whether I really want to go to law school, I also have to decide where -- and where I go to law school is for various reasons also probably going to be where I live for the foreseeable future after law school.
I'm providing only high level data here because I'm not really looking for advice on whether or not to go to law school, I'm looking for advice on what kind of process to go through to make that decision. I feel like I have a fairly good grasp of the risks and possible rewards of some of the different outcomes, but how do you begin to compare the value of things like 'more diverse career opportunities' and 'more opportunity to see my beloved niece grow up'? I've been thinking about this in a haphazard way for months and not come to any firm conclusions, but now the deadlines on accepting the admissions offers are approaching, so I have a timeline, and I need to think about it more methodically.
I feel like I've made major life decisions fairly haphazardly in the past. I've only really made two "big decisions" like this in my life. I chose my university (and thus the city I live in) and course of study on little more than a whim when I was 16 and then just followed a fairly well-defined path from there without taking any major risks or making big changes until I left that path and moved to my current job. That was the second big decision and even it felt pretty whimsical -- I was offered the job out of the blue and I thought it would be interesting, so I took it. Those decisions have turned out well, but I don't think that's a point in favor of my decision making skills, I'm just lucky enough and flexible enough that those decisions worked out okay.
I can't even decide which category to put this in, because switching careers is work and money but being close to my family is human relations but going back to school is education, etc. So, 'grab bag' it is.