Pros and Cons

The time seemed to have flown by in one sense and yet in another, it seemed like forever. It was hard to believe that after three long years, I was about to return to the world of work. Now with my doctoral degree in hand, the possibilities were unlimited. But where should my marker be placed?decision

This was indeed an important decision.  Relocating to a new community and starting my academic career was going to impact all aspects of my life: personal, professional, social, financial, spiritual. In fact, my decision about where to relocate was going to shape the next phase of my life.

My mentor, Dr. B., was good at challenging me to stretch and examine ideas and information from different perspectives. So I scheduled some time with him to prepare for my interviews. Prior to meeting, he directed me to complete a comprehensive search about each University, to include the Departments that I was applying, colleagues, students, teaching, research, publishing, and tenure requirements.  He then suggested that I make a list of potential questions that might be asked of me during my interview. After completing the assigned tasks, I scheduled our meeting.

Dr. B. loved asking questions. Almost as soon as I sat down, he began probing to see what I had learned about my potential academic institutions. Once he was satisfied that I had an accurate grasp about each, Dr. B. began drilling me for the interview itself.interview

After an hour of intense questioning, he casually asked “What questions are you going to ask?”  I looked at him with a blank stare. I hadn’t spent any time thinking about questions that I might need answers.“Well, young lady, you had better get busy making your list.”  Dr. B. reminded me that the interview was not just about me demonstrating that I was the person for the position; but rather, it was also about me listening, observing, and probing to ensure that the position was best for me. I assured him that when I got home I would spend time reflecting on our discussions about the Universities and generating my questions. And before he could remind me, I quickly interjected and “I will make sure that my questions affirm and clarify any assumptions that I have made.”  He smiled and gave me the look of approval. It was something about his look that made me realize there was another important aspect of the process that I needed his feedback. How should I organize the information that I gathered so that a prudent decision could be made?


Dr. B. didn’t hesitate to tell me that as  soon as each interview was completed,  I should take a sheet of paper and label two columns, one the  pros (things that would be beneficial to me- contribute to my success professionally and other aspects of my life) and the other cons (things that could get in the way of my success and adversely affect my professional performance and other aspects of my life). Then re-examine both, making sure everything was included. Compare the pros and cons.

 “So what do you think is most important to your decision making?”  I was uncertain. Dr. B. proceeded to enlighten me. “You can live with the pros- because those are all the things you think are beneficial. The crucial question is “can you live with the cons?”  Choose the University that you can best live with the cons.

After completing my interviews, identifying,  and comparing the pros and cons, it became clear that the “cons” did matter the most.

B.E.S.T. Thoughts

  1. How do you know you can live with the cons?
  2. What can you do to make sure you know the ramifications of the cons?
  3. Have you ever made a decision focused solely on the pros that turned out not to be a good decision?



Author: ourbestmovement

I am championing a B.E.S.T. Movement focused on bringing out the B.E.S.T. in people and organizations so that they can achieve estraordinary results FAST! My favorite destination remains my hometown, Daytona Beach, Florida, I love sunshine, blue skies, seafood, beach and speed. The B.E.S.T. Movement is all about connecting you to your B.E.S.T. fast so that you can live a balanced, abundant life that has impact.

13 thoughts on “Pros and Cons”

  1. Thank you for sharing. This information is most helpful. May I pass it on?
    Regards to You and Dr. Clayton.
    Coming to 2016 Homcoming?


    1. Glad to hear that it was helpful. Absolutely, feel free to share. I had hoped to make Homecoming but looks like I have some business that will prevent that from happening. Will be sure and share your regards with Clayton. We have an anniversary coming soon (smile).


  2. I hope you don’t mind me sharing but this piece reminds me of work/life decision I had to make years ago. Sharon, my wife, and I had been told we would never have children. Well that eventually change and we found ourselves expecting. At the same time at work I was working on this highly visible project that all of a sudden required me to be out of town for the majority, 3 out of 4 weeks a month, for the next year. This was a very major project that would affect the entire agency. Pros; exposure to high level personnel, being on the front end of something new, promotion potential in the future, etc. Cons; being away from home, a pregnant wife alone at home, all personal activities on hold. I got all kinds of advice from folks at work saying this is a one time opportunity and I would be crazy to turn it down and I could rise to the top, etc., etc. After thought, prayer, and advice (from both sides) I decided to pass on the opportunity. Also, I said to myself no matter what I would live peacefully with my decision. I was ridiculed, called dumb, and frowned upon by many on the job. May have even been passed over on some future opportunities. In relation to your piece I could not live with the cons, so that drove my decision. To wrap up the story, my wife went into an emergency labor 2 months early and I was here which literally resulted in her delivering a 2 month old premature baby (who by the way is about to be 16 yrs old) versus her and my unborn son being found died in the house while I was out of town working. Now that would have between a “con” I would have never recovered from.


    1. Thanks for sharing this personal story Fon that really reinforces the importance of cons and more importantly realizing the impact that they will have. And you forgot to mention that your son is doing well and is now in the 10th grade!


      1. I thought I mentioned that Jalin is about to be 16 years old but yes he is doing well, just started 10th grade, and is learning to drive.
        I would be remiss if I didn’t say that one of the pros of my decision is that I have a wife who knows where she stands on my priority list and that she is healthy and we were blessed again with the birth of Ciana, my 14 year old daughter, sixteen months after the ordeal with Jalin. She just started high school last week and is doing well.


  3. Thank you for the new perspective, Pat! As someone who has always struggled with making decisions, I found this very helpful. And I truly appreciated Mr. Holloway sharing his experience.


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