Do You Want Ranch or Blue Cheese?

“Decisions are a way of defining ourselves. There comes a time in life when there is nothing else to do but go your own way. Where you are headed there are no trails, no paths, just your own instincts.”

– Sergio Bambaren

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In the midst of such an entitled generation, why are some Millennials still so hesitant to state their opinions or ideas in front of other, more experienced colleagues? Coming right out of college, with a valued and trusted education, one should be able to confidently speak up and make decisions in a timely manner. As stated previously, decisions are a way of defining yourself. Being a young professional, you should be able to instinctively apply what you have learned these past four years and prove that your skills are now worthwhile, right? I can speak for myself when I say that fear often overtakes that ability. The fear of being wrong or being judged is one that sits prominently by my side.

“What if I’m wrong, and they think I’m dumb?”

“What if my response makes no sense at all?”

“What they’re saying is probably right. I shouldn’t say anything… I’ll just agree.”

These are all thoughts that run through my head when I am put in a professional situation where my input can be heard; therefore, I am hesitant to make a decision confidently.

DecisionMaking Photo2Decision-making in a business environment is one of the most crucial skills an employee can have. The decision doesn’t necessarily have to be right or wrong; you just need to decide on a course of action and execute. Hopefully, whatever decision that has been decided upon will work out in the long run. Indecisiveness portrays weakness and incompetence, and will put you at a disadvantage in the business world. Success in any typical business originates from a risk taking decision that was made by an individual with a vision. Whether that decision was well thought out, or was spur of the moment, a decision was made.

Being twenty-one years old, the only job I have ever had is being a server. One of the toughest decisions I have had to endure in this industry is:

“Do you want ranch or blue cheese?”

That’s a question I have asked hundreds, maybe thousands of times over the years… Let’s say the answer is “ranch.” This decision does not actually affect people’s lives. If they received the wrong dressing for their boneless wings, easy fix, I’ll grab them the right one. Working at a “real world” professional job, many decisions can and will affect others around you. It’s not as simple as black or white, there’s a gray area of “what ifs”. If I chose black, what will the outcome be? What will happen if I chose white? The repetitive process of indecisiveness will bring about an unconfident choice.

A solution to this dilemma is finding confidence in myself. I need to assess my strengths and weaknesses in order to confidently make a decision. This can be done by taking the time to create a SWOT analysis on myself and further applying these results in my professional life. I must be able to display my strengths in the workplace, but also put my weaknesses to the test for future improvement. If my intuition ever suggests that I know something, I should act upon it and not think too much about the “what if’s.” By doing this, I am utilizing what I do know, instead of being hesitant, but also taking a risk by challenging my weaknesses.

I need to learn to confidently use my intuition, judgment, experience, and instincts to make a decision and worry not so much about if I am right or wrong but just do it. My decisions are a reflection of who I am as a professional and are an opportunity for me to prove my strengths and stand out from others.

– Stephanie Beck, Roger Williams University ‘16

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