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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Wisdom: Knowledge Increases Effective Decision Making

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

Most people know the quote “With age comes wisdom” but few know the five words that actually follow: “...sometimes age comes alone.” Perhaps Oscar Wilde doesn't want to sound too smug or too optimistic. With this in mind, it is probably best to encourage all career development professionals to assist their clients in gaining wisdom, especially about themselves. Don't forget, Wilde also said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

~ Melanie Reinersman, M.A.,

Photo by Taylor Wright on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Taking a Systematic Approach to Decision Making

Intuition may not be the best guide when making tough career decisions. Common processes, like pro and con lists, could put too much weight on unimportant factors. Following a step-by-step process (starting with clarifying the decision) can lead to wise actions. Review all the steps in this effective decision making process.

JOB SEARCHING: Asking Wise Questions in an Interview

A job seeker that does not want to gain more knowledge about the position or the company will not ask questions during the interview. Preparing 15 or more questions in advance allows the job seeker to choose appropriate, thoughtful ones so as to continue the evaluations process. Both parties need this in order to make a wise decision. Read more from the Wise Job Search.

FOR THE PRACTITIONER: Learn from the Wisdom of Others

The “Later Chapters” series of articles published in NCDA's Career Convergence includes seven interviews of noted career development professionals, such as Lee Richmond and Mark Pope. Reading about wise (or unwise) choices and the advice freely given can assist today's practitioners with the road ahead.

YOUR LIBRARY: Too Young to be Old

Dr. Nancy Schlossberg's book, Too Young to be Old: Love, Learn, Work and Play as You Age, focuses on transition and the four areas to increase self-knowledge. Asking questions like “what kind of impact is the actual situation”; “how resilient are you”; “what kind of support do you have”; and “do you have the ability to come up with possible solutions” will identify what needs to be worked on. Read more about this wise author's book.

TOP TEN: Ways to Increase Self-knowledge

Better decision making and behavioral responses stem from a self-awareness that uncovers destructive thought-patterns and unhealthy habits. Knowing your motives, identifying your mistakes, and understanding your personality type are just three of many ways to exercise greater self-awareness. Read ten from


"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“The wiser mind mourns less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind.” ~ William Wordsworth



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