Trust your gut feeling

By Steve Nicholls

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The intuitive compass

Francis P. Cholle’s book The Intuitive Compass has been the major motivator and inspiration of mine, and my ideas and thoughts in this article draw heavily on the wisdom and ideas set out in that book.  Should you use your intuition (or that little voice we hear inside us sometimes; as if we know what we should do in a given situation) as part of a career management strategy?

What does your gut tell you?

Cholle says that intuition can be trained, and sites an example of that ‘gut feeling’ which we can all have, but on a higher level being experienced by the military sensing danger (specifically a roadside IED, or bomb) more keenly than civilian counterparts.

Within a career progression or change context, we often spend a lot of time honing our CV and interview techniques, without stepping back for a moment and asking ourself, our intuition, our gut feeling – call it what you will. Does this situation ‘feel’ right? Does that company ‘feel’ like the right option for me? For the pragmatic left brained among you…I hear you. Practicality is also a consideration, but I believe that the best career decisions are those made with Cholle’s four elements fully considered: Reason, Play, Results, and Instincts.

Reason and intuition as career management tools

I feel that well thought-out career strategies or transitions are best thought through using a combination of reason and intuition. Many businesses are taking on board these concepts and adopting them into training for senior staff. This kind of approach is not just a concept; it works, and is based on neuroscience research. I often say to my career coaching clients, “If you had to decide within the next ten seconds which option to go for, which would it be?” – that’s more a bit more light-hearted of course, but the process of intuition kicks in during that kind of scenario. Within a career change or career progression context, we take people through processes that support this; for example, have you ever tried really getting yourself in a positive frame of mind intentionally?

Trust your intuition

You’ve heard the phrase before, “Trust your intuition”? Well, I believe that if you open your mind to this concept, it will help you to ensure that career decisions are made in a balanced way. I’ll leave the summing up to a saying from Einstein; I don’t think I could say it any better: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein.


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