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Problem Solving Skill Essay

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Updated: May 3rd, 2021

The scenario presents a situation where I am faced with a hard monetary conundrum. To become more eligible for a promotion I chose to return to college and get a Bachelor’s degree. However, at the end of the course, a new job opportunity arose that would require me to continue my education to get a Master’s degree. The new position would bring a salary increase and a car allowance, but it does not provide tuition reimbursement. To find a solution to this problem, a six-step problem solving process can be used.

Definition of the Problem

While at first glance the scenario seems to present an easy choice, a closer examination reveals a conundrum. The new job is a higher position, which was the original goal of coming back to college. The company is a competitor of my current place of employment, but it is willing to pay for the relocation expenses. The increase of yearly salary and car allowance are welcome improvements too. However, people who work in the supervisor position at the new company are expected to have a Master’s degree. Although I planned to stop my education after receiving the Bachelor’s degree, I would have to aim for the Master’s degree at the new position. This in itself would not be a problem at my current job, as the company provides tuition reimbursement. Unfortunately, despite all the improvements at the new company, it does not provide the same reimbursement, which means that I would have to pay for the education. The problem lies in whether it is viable to take the new job but pay for the continued education, or stay at the current position and hope for a promotion.

Analysis of the Problem

To analyze this problem, it is important to establish the current situation (“The problem solving process,” 2017). I have worked at my current company for eleven years and have not received a promotion. This is an issue I found to be important enough to go back to college for. The company is paying my tuition which saves me a lot of money. Average tuition fees in the United States for a four-year college are around $20,000 yearly (Kelchen, 2016). This is a sum higher than the increase in the yearly salary promised by the new position. To gain a Master’s degree after I receive my Bachelor’s degree would require at least a year of additional full-time education. Therefore the first year at the new company would be at a loss of at least $5,000 if I plan to continue living on the current budget. The car allowance would be able to help with transportation fees which might reduce this loss. Although the company is willing to pay for the relocation, it would mean losing personal and business connections at my current location. The company being a competitor could also be seen as a betrayal of loyalty from my current company, as they have been paying for my education over these few years.

Possible Options for the Solution

I believe this problem has a few possible solutions. The first two are simple. I could agree to the new position and change my budget for a year to make up for the loss. On the other hand, I could stay at my current position and hope that my new degree would lead to a promotion. If I take the new job, I will be able to make up for the loss by applying for a scholarship. If I stay at my current company, I will be able to use this proposal from a rival company as leverage over my current company when asking for a promotion.

Evaluation of the Options

These possible solutions have to be evaluated to find the most appropriate one for this situation (“The problem solving process,” 2017). If I change my budget for a year at the new position, the stress will increase and I will lack benefits for a full year of work. It will definitely provide emotional pressure on me as I would be in a new state without friends or family to relax in my free time. Additionally, it would force me to reduce any savings and investments I might have or plan to have. However, it is only a year in comparison to eleven years I have spent in my previous condition. Staying at my current job and hoping for a promotion could be the most stable option, but it holds no guarantees when it comes to life improvements. Just as easily I could never get a promotion even with a Bachelor’s degree. Another smart solution might be to take the job and apply for a scholarship. It would save me money, and I would be able to enjoy the benefits of the new position. However, the chance to receive a scholarship is very low, as I might not be eligible for many of the available scholarships (O’Phelan, & Lipphardt, 2016). Using this proposal as leverage could be shown as an example of my value as an employee. My company could see it as a chance to keep a valuable member of the team by giving me a promotion. This is a risky move however as it could also be seen as an aggressive move from a desperate employee.

The Best Option

I believe the best option, in this case, would be the one that holds the most certain long-term benefit. All of the options that have to do with staying with the current company hold an uncertainty that reduces their viability. Therefore they are eliminated from the list. Gaining a scholarship is an appealing possibility, and I would apply for one either way, but I do not believe it would be a certain success and therefore I cannot rely on it as my primary solution. Decreasing my current budget by $5,000 for a year might be a challenge, but it is guaranteed to pay off in the long run with monetary benefits that are sure to be seen in a year. This is the most viable option because it does not prevent me from applying for a scholarship, while also guaranteeing future benefits.

Implementation and Reflection on the Solution

To implement this decision, I would need to see which luxuries I can afford to remove for the next year. For example, I could cancel by cable television subscription, as I do not watch TV that often. Then reduce my spending money to a minimum. I could also sell some of my belongings before moving to make some additional money. After moving, I would choose the most affordable college to get my Master’s degree to minimize the yearly tuition cost. I would take a chance on applying for a scholarship but would not expect it to be approved.

I believe this is the best option because it leaves me prepared for all the possible monetary issues during the first year of work. It does have its problems as I would have to motivate myself to wait for the benefits, but I would be financially secure for the time being.

Conclusion

Problem solving is a crucial skill in life and business. This six-step process is intuitive and does not require a lot of preparation. By using it, I was able to find a solution that would best benefit me.

References

Kelchen, R. (2016). An analysis of student fees: The roles of states and institutions. The Review of Higher Education, 39(4), 597-619.

O’Phelan, A., & Lipphardt, D. (2016). How to go to college on a shoe string: The insider’s guide to grants, scholarships, cheap books, fellowships and other financial aid secrets. London, UK: Atlantic Publishing Company.

(2017). Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Problem Solving Skill." May 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/problem-solving-skill/.

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