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Identify and Avoid These Career Decision-Making Traps

Identify and Avoid These Career Decision-Making Traps

Peter Vogt, MonsterTRAK Career Coach

Schneider and Belsky also write about 10 more choice challenges:

The Confirmation Bias: The tendency to seek information that confirms your existing knowledge and shut out what contradicts it.
Example: Talking to friends and family who say a career in medicine sounds great instead of asking actual doctors who might suggest otherwise.

Ignoring the Base Rate: Disregarding the odds of success within a situation.
Example: Assuming you’ll land a job in professional sports after you finish college, even though relatively few new grads actually pull that off.

The Information Cascade: Being influenced by repeated exposure to certain facts.
Example: “I’d better go to graduate school to wait out this bad job market.”

Mental Accounting: Treating money differently depending on its source and your use for it.
Example: “My family will pay for my degree if I major in finance, so I might as well be a finance major even though my heart’s not in it.”

Are You Ready for a Career in Health Care?

1. We say “school,” you think:

Bring it on!
Eek! What will I wear on the first day?
My dog ate my homework.

Overconfidence: Overestimating your abilities, skills or knowledge.
Example: “I really don’t know what I’ll do with a master’s degree, but I’ll figure it out by the time I’m done with grad school.”

Regret Aversion: Making decisions to avoid feeling bad in the future.
Example: “I’m going to stick with my biology major, because if I change to something else, I might be sorry later.”

Rules of Thumb: Mental shortcuts to make choices easier.
Example: “I better not major in art, because you can’t get a job with that degree.”

The Status Quo Bias: Resisting change in favor of the familiar.
Example: “I don’t really like my current internship, but at least I know what to expect from it.”

The Endowment Effect: Putting higher value on something you have than you would if someone else had it.
Example: "I hate my math major, but I’m doing so well in it that it makes no sense to switch to psychology.

The Sunk Cost Fallacy: Overemphasizing the money, time, psychological energy or other resources you’ve invested.
Example: “I can’t throw away my $75,000 MBA and become a teacher.”


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