What's Holding YOU Back #4 – Paralysis by Analysis


Photo by Roscoe Ellis

#4 in the What’s Holding You Back series

Designed to help you think about why you are not moving forward in your job search, career, or life.

Micki left this comment on the first post in this series: “If I had to pick one thing that I could say holds me back, it would have to be over-analyzing my goals and the steps to achieve them. I have heard it put like this: paralysis by analysis, and I know that I am sometimes guilty of it.

But she added the plus side in another note: because I thought through all the possible scenarios of what could go wrong and dealt with them before they happened.

I’ve known Micki for awhile and she is a very thoughtful, analytical person. In fact, because of those qualities, I often turn to Micki when I am making a decision. She is a person I have named to my team of Trusted Advisors. Micki and I have never met in person, just on Facebook and now over the phone now and then, but her ability to look at multiple sides of a question makes her very valuable to me. Her values also align with mine which makes her advice, advice I can trust.

Use your Trusted Advisors for major life decisions

Just the fact that I do have this team of Trusted Advisors tells you that I do take decision-making seriously. I don’t think anyone should make decisions flippantly or with little thought. This year, I have had many business decisions to make and I continue to make them. I am glad that I do have people to reach out to that can help me sort through things.

I think what Micki is talking about though, is that sometimes, we are so afraid of failing that we keep studying long past when a decision should be made. This as Micki dubs it, can be “Paralysis by Analysis.”

I’ve had that dialog with several clients recently as we discuss their career options and choices. While a career decision should be made carefully, as we talked about in “I need another Pepper Grinder, oh really?” — there are times when it is time to leave. If you are in an uncomfortable position that doesn’t meet your financial needs or perhaps is not fulfilling to you, after you have done some analysis, you should move forward. If you are currently unemployed, then you have less things holding you back but there still are decision-making factors involved.

Some of my clients are afraid to even apply for a position that meets all of their requirements because as Micki discussed, they are paralyzed by analysis. This is the time to cut to the quick and ask the hard question.

What is the worst case scenario?

Even though this is part of analysis too, giving yourself the worst case scenario and playing it out relieves the stress. In a job search, if you are worried about sending the resume or cover letter, if you have developed a professional resume and cover letter with all the necessary keywords and accomplishments, the worst case scenario is that they will say no. If that is the case, you even have the alternative of sending them a thank you note for the no.

Photo by Paul J. Williams

Photo by Paul J. Williams

When in doubt, a SWOT analysis can be helpful. As I was looking for photos for this post, I came across this one and it reminded me of some sessions that I participated in when we worked on this type of analysis. When you look at all sides of a decision, you can make an effective decision.

Look at all these alternatives for not being stuck in paralysis by analysis and today make one step forward on an issue or problem that has you paralyzed.

What do you think? Or leave your success stories here!

Julie Walraven can help you achieve results through using a personalized job search and resume writing  strategy to take the mystery out of the process. To find out how, simply click here!

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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