Get Your Priorities Straight! Online Decision Making Tool

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Posted May 23, 2014 by Lindsay Bosch in Career Moves
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I am not decisive. I hem and haw in the cereal aisle, while reading take out menus and over cheap sunglasses at Target. Picking one pair of summer flats means I won’t be able to have all the rest of the cute shoes on display. The “Sampler Platter” was made for people like me, who can’t even bring themselves to commit to a single appetizer.

You can imagine that the bigger decisions are even harder on me. Choices about career moves, hiring, education and home buying having me making elaborate “Pro vs. Con” Excel sheets and calling everyone I know for advice. How can I evaluate whether one decision will make me happier than another? Figuring out what’s right (and what’s right for you) is the hardest thing in the world.

That’s why I’m intrigued by the new online tool Something Pop. The website offers a process for better decision making by helping you evaluate your personal priorities. The site is geared to help you better analyze and evaluate job offers, city moves, new homes, and other major life choices you may face. The goal of the site is to take the seemingly unquantifiable and break them down. It does so by starting first with your priorities

Founder, Ben Gimpert notes:

“People have a natural tendency to confuse priorities and options. An opportunity that is loud, easy, flattering and happens to have popped up recently may not get you closer to your goals.”

For example under the question “Which Job to Take” the site asks you to settle on a sliding scale of the importance of each of your own priorities. The site suggests possible priorities could be:

  • Salary
  • Length of Commute
  • Retirement Plan
  • Inspiring Colleagues
  • Near Family
  • Nice Weather
  • Prestige of Organization
  • Upward Mobility
  • Vacation Days

You can also set your own. You are working with 100 points so as you raise the “priority sliders” for each of these categories, the others inevitably lower in turn. And that maybe the simple brilliance of Something Pop….it reminds us we can’t have everything. If being close to family is incredibly important, as well as potential for promotion, we are just going to have to give in on something else (Lets face it… probably salary) The chart allows you to literally get your priorities straight–asking you to identify first what it is that is most important to you before jumping into your choices at hand.

 

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After you set your priorities you can then enter your options and assess how well each of these address your own stated values. The site produces a chart that weighs the option against the goals you’ve identified for yourself.

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Quoted in Slate, Gimpert says:

There is something very seductive about quantifying a decision knowing that your own personal priorities and goals went into generating that number. We want to think of ourselves as nuanced, subtle creatures, who weigh a million details in taking big steps in life. But actually, there are usually just a handful of personal factors that matter, and that can be surfaced with a little help from software. You might find out that an unsexy option is actually better overall than an option with one very appealing factor but a lot of disadvantages you were willing to overlook.

Whether or not you use the Something Pop tool – the website offers a savvy insight into decision-making.   When we are at a loss it helps to first articulate personal priorities and use that as a roadmap to weigh our options.


About the Author

Lindsay Bosch

Lindsay Bosch is an arts and nonprofit manager who has worked in cultural institutions for over decade including the American Library Association, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Film Festival. Lindsay is interested in the self-driven (and often self taught) trajectory of women’s careers in nonprofits and writes about issues related to leadership, branding and work culture. Lindsay holds a Bachelors degree in Film and Media from Northwestern Univ. and a Masters in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the coauthor of the art history textbook Icons of Beauty: Art, Culture and the Image of Women.

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