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A critical analysis of the situation is important, when it comes to making big decisions that may affect the rest of our lives. Practicing decision-making is an important skill that will lead to a more fulfilling and successful life. In this paper, we will practice solving a problem presented in a case study using a 6-step decision-making process.
You have worked at your company for eleven years. You have returned to college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in order to increase your chances for a promotion. You are nearly finished with your degree when a supervisor’s position in a competing company becomes available in another state. The start date is in two weeks, during your final exam period for your courses.
The position offers a $15,000 per year salary increase, a car allowance, and relocation expenses. Your former supervisor works for the company and is recommending you for the position based on your outstanding job performance; if you want the job, it is yours. All of the other supervisors at this level in the company have Master’s degrees, so you know that you would be expected to earn your Bachelor’s degree and continue on to a Master’s degree. Your present company offers tuition reimbursement, but the new company does not.
Definition of the Problem
The problem with this scenario is figuring out which course of action will be more profitable in short-term and long-term perspectives. The choice is between staying in the current company, where I have a baggage of experience (11 years), a chance of promotion, and education reimbursement, or switching to a new company with immediate promotion to a supervisor and a salary increase, but without the education reimbursement and an automatic demand to apply for a Master’s degree right after finishing Bachelor’s. An additional complication in this matter is that they cannot wait for me to finish my Bachelor’s degree and require me to start working in 2 weeks, which is during my exam session.
Analysis of the Problem
Since the story in the case study has many white spots, I will have to fill in for them with logical assumptions. The first assumption I will be making is that taking the offer of the competing company will fail my bachelor courses and will force me to start over again. The second assumption I will be making is that switching companies will force me to pay for all the previous tuition years to the current company. When evaluating the pros and cons of every offer, I will consider the financial and the educational parts, as well as the consequences for my working integrity and my good name.
As it stands, there are only two courses of action. The first one is to stay in the current place of work, maintain the working integrity and keep the education reimbursement. The other option involves breaking my current contract with the company and seek employment among the competition, relying on my former supervisor to get the position I seek, along with increased payment, a company car, and an obligation to fit in with the requirements of the job.
The option to stay in the current company, finish my Bachelor’s degree, and then go for a Master’s degree with the reimbursement from my company is the safest option. With it, I do not risk anything – I retain my current position and will likely be promoted to supervisor shortly after receiving my Bachelor’s degree. My working integrity also remains intact. On the downside, I may be missing an opportunity of a quicker promotion.
The second option is riskier. It provides immediate benefits to my income at a greater cost in the long run. These costs would come from having to pay for my education. Education in the USA is expensive – a year of tuition in a good university or college costs 20000-30000 dollars a year, with additional expenses bumping up the costs up to 40000 dollars. I will be forced to pay back the reimbursement fees to my current company, as per contract I signed in order to receive reimbursement in the first place. Since Bachelor courses take up to 4 years, the refund will be around 150000 dollars. Getting my master’s degree means additional 120000 dollars in expenses.
Naturally, I will not be able to pay all that money at once, so I will be forced to go into debt, which will keep looming over me for at least 6 to 8 years. There is a lot of uncertainty in going through with this option – my entire case will lie on the recommendation of one of my former supervisors. In addition, it is impossible to tell how I will mesh with the rest of the company’s staff, whereas in my current company I have a solid standing and reputation. Lastly, shifting from one company to another after my current company had already invested much in my education through reimbursement will not paint me in a favorable light in the future.
I believe that staying in the current company, completing my education, and following my long-term plans is the better option in the long run. While I decline the offer of receiving a higher salary and a service vehicle, I save money on education spending, and maintain a safe and secure position within my current organization, with great possibilities of receiving a promotion and improving my income. The number of uncertainties of the second option and the short amount of time (2 weeks) for me to make a decision make it a less attractive scenario. The amount of money I will need to spend out of my pocket for my education will annihilate the benefits I get from extra salary, and the chances of additional problems and uncertainties are high.
Implementation is simple – I decline the offer of the competitor company with grace and dignity and maintain my current position. However, I use the event as a bargaining chip with my current boss to show him or her that I am a valuable employee sought after among their competitors. This will likely earn me a promotion and a few other benefits along the way.
The 6-step decision-making process is a simple and useful tool that could be implemented to almost every problem or situation that could arise in the course of our lives. It allows for reflection and critical analysis of the situation and helps avoiding many dangerous pitfalls and mistakes caused by a lack of research and analysis.