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Optimize Your Decisions to Enhance Your Career

I once delegated my most important career decisions to my mentors. I later realized that no one was more qualified than me to make decisions for my career and life.

"Just tell me what to do." 

This statement once held the key to my success. Before I started on faculty, it never failed me. In medical school, it was especially effective: They told me where to show up and I did. They told me what to study, I aced the test! Every time I followed the plan -- success. And when I went the extra mile -- incredible success! "Just tell me what to do" was my go-to success strategy throughout medical school, residency, and fellowship. But when I became a faculty member, it fell apart. No matter how much I succeeded in doing what I was told, I failed. Even when I followed the prescription to a letter, people still got mad. It took me a few years, but I finally figured out that asking people to make decisions for me was a losing strategy. It was time to own the responsibility for making my own career decisions.

In academic medicine, the path to success can be murky. The harder you work at one thing, the more in the hole you are for others. You prioritize your clinic notes and miss the big meeting. You prioritize the meeting and miss family dinner. You prioritize family dinner and your Division Director questions your commitment. With so many competing priorities, how can you best decide what is most important? 

Here are Five Decision-Making Steps You Need To Take:

  1. Analyze your decision framework.

  2. Understand your decisional biases.

  3. Upgrade your information sources.

  4. Automate trivial decisions.

  5. Optimize your major decisions.

As you plan next week, consider automating important decisions. Ask yourself, what manuscripts do I want to publish this year? What grants do I want to submit? What conferences will I go to? Once you decide, then act on your decisions. What if you could reduce decision fatigue around your most important academic moves? How might that change the way you show up?

🎙️ News you can use:

We will be opening up enrollments for the next cohort of the Clinician Researcher Academy. Clinician Researcher Academy is your gateway to creating the research career you actually want. Interested? Sign up to join the waitlist here. Once the application portal opens, you will be the first to hear about it. Spoiler alert, it is going to be super awesome!

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