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Michael Gardon

  • Writer's pictureMichael Gardon

3 Frameworks For Making Better Career Decisions in 2024 - The Break Issue 62

Updated: Mar 13

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#62 My 3 Frameworks For Better Career Decisions.

Ok, so 2024 is knocking at the door and I just learned a new word.

Actually 2 new words.

First, my kids taught me the word "rizz" which means something about flirting or having game. Lo and behold rizz is Time Magazine's word of the year! I couldn't believe it!

The second is "career pathing", as in the act of figuring out your path.

I never really knew this term existed, but it makes sense.

The core problem we have in "career pathing" is that individuals have much more autonomy in and responsibility for creating their own career paths now. That responsibility is often unaided, and untethered to any organization, industry or way of working.

This is mostly driven by the paradox of choice: we have more options than ever, and more options make it harder to decide.

So researchers have been hard at work, and have developed three core “career competencies” that individuals must develop in order to take ownership over their career "pathing":

  1. knowing why: This is an assessment of your core values and your motivation to work, and how well aligned your current role or organization is to these items. Knowing your why serves as a filter for removing decision and options that are not aligned, but our brains think “seem too good to pass up.”

  2. knowing how: These are the skills, knowledge, and abilities you need to do your current role successfully, as well as what you will need to move into a future role. Starting from your base of competence, you can more easily see a plan to skill acquisition and how new skills can layer on top of old skills to build a better foundation.

  3. knowing whom. These are the people who are willing and able to help you.

Honestly this kind of research makes me yawn because I don't care about the theory, I want to know HOW we take action to build these skills

This is why The UnBREAKable Community exists - to support careerists making bold decisions in the arena, and not on the sidelines.

So I want to share 3 decision making frameworks we just talked about on our group call this week.

A Why, A How, and A Who Try To Build a Career Path . . .

To find your 'why'


Ikigai is a Japanese term that learned from interviewing ​Dan Go​ on my podcast. It represents the convergence of four essential elements: what you love, what you're good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.

It's closest translation is "life worth". I like to say it's the soul's purpose.

 It's the sweet spot where passion, talent, contribution, and financial sustainability intersect.

When you explore and identify your ikigai, you empower yourself to make informed career choices that align with their deepest values and aspirations, ultimately leading to a more meaningful and rewarding professional journey.

For guidance on how to explore these areas, my Advantage Mapping Program does exactly this. You get it free when you become an annual ​community member​.

To find your 'how'

Thinking In Bets

How to great investors and even gamblers tip odds in their favor to make great decisions?

They make a series of micro decisions to "test the waters" and acquire more information instead of making one big binary decision.

Then when they have a series of positive signals, they bet heavier.

You can do this with your time, attention and money.

Thinking in bets is a decision-making approach popularized by author and former professional poker player Annie Duke. Essentially, it involves viewing decisions as bets, acknowledging the inherent uncertainty in outcomes, and assessing them based on the quality of the decision-making process rather than just the result.

At each bet you are acquiring information that helps you decide if you need to continue, go bigger or stop.

This framework is helpful when navigating big decisions like career transitions and transformations.

How can you bet small, and find out more about your path options before committing?

By considering the probabilities, learning from both micro-successes and micro-failures, you can ultimately become more adaptable and resilient in your career journeys.

Key takeaway? Stop making one giant decision, and start building a process to make lots of micro decision that get you the information you need.

To find your 'who'

Believability Weighting

Of all mistakes I see people make on their career paths, the biggest is this:

We take advice from good, well meaning, smart people, but who have no business giving us advice on the decision WE are set to make.

  • College kids ask their lawyer parents about careers in marketing.

  • 20 somethings ask their party friends if they should start a business.

  • 30 somethings ask their kool-aid drinking co-workers about other companies.

  • 40 somethings ask their lifestyle-protecting spouses about giving up their 25 year career.

How believable is the advice and experience of this person for this situation?

That's what you need to ask. Here are some prompts to get you there:

  • Are they participants or critics?

  • Have they done the thing?

  • Have they made a similar hard choice?

  • Do they have useful knowledge in the domain?

Don't ask people for advice who haven't been there. The odds of that advice being right for you are low if they haven't.

There you go. 3 frameworks for making higher odds career choices in 2024.

If you're nodding along, and this all makes sense, I'd love to see you as a member of ​The Break Community​. It will be one of the best decisions you will make, and don't forget to use the code THEBREAK100OFF.

Wishing you boldness and clarity in the new year,



Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1. Join the ​Community​, or ​book an intro call​ with me!

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Resources To Make Your BREAK

  • Curated Job Board: I teamed up with Pallet to create a tech focused, remote first board. I’d love it if you joined 20+ followers. Maybe, just maybe you’ll find your next big opportunity here.

  • Career Quiz: Take the Advantage Mapping step of learning how you're wired and for what roles!

  • Recommended Reading: My list of must reads to BREAK your view of the world and what's possible for you.

  • Side Hustle Database: Over 200+ ideas to bring out your creative side as you explore your path. Maybe it will end up being your BREAK!

  • LinkedIn Headline Analyzer: See how your LinkedIn headline stacks up and how you can improve it to attract better opportunities.

The Latest Conversation on THE BREAK Pod

Henna Pryor, PCC is a highly sought-after Workplace Performance Expert and an award-winning 2x TEDx and global keynote speaker, virtual presenter, author, and professional executive coach. She’s known for her science-backed approach to improving the performance, habits, and actions of hungry high achievers – in her fun, no-nonsense, no-jargon way – to move them from their first level of success to their next one.

She has been invited to speak twice for TEDx in New York City and Wilmington, DE and brings her expertise to a variety of global organizations including Google, Workday, FIS Global, and Johnson & Johnson. She has also been featured in top TV, podcast, and print media including Forbes, NBC, Washington Post, Fast Company, and more.

Henna founded Pryority Group – a fast-growing performance growth firm – to expand on her belief that the key to most people’s success is leaning into awkwardness a little bit longer to skyrocket strategic risk-taking and be braver in the work that we do.

Her best-selling book, ​Good Awkward​, published in September has been endorsed by NFL Quarterback Russell Wilson, former HBR Editor Karen Dillon, and received the rare Kirkus Star for excellence in writing.

You made it to the end! Hopefully you learned something about breaking your career today! If so, please share this with someone you care about.

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