The Six Hats Decision Making Tool

Over the past fortnight I have been pondering a very difficult decision. I have been deciding whether to continue studying mechanical engineering, or to take some time off to consider my future and what I want to make of it.

Thinking back, I realised that although I have given myself multiple opportunities to consider what I wanted for myself as a career (including a gap year and three months recovery after glandular fever), I never really questioned myself or my motivations.

Did I really want to study mechanical engineering? Why? What was my dream career? What was the ultimate goal of studying? 

I realised that I didn’t have any particularly good answers to these questions, other than – I am studying engineering because I am good at it. Or even more juvenile – I am studying engineering because I can.

Which was the truth, I am very good at engineering and consistently get high grades. But I wasn’t passionate about it. So, I began to google “Decision Making Techniques” and stumbled across the Six Hat Technique.

six hats

NOTE: I do not own this image.

This technique is something which should be taught in schools! It provided clarity and helped me get to the core of the problem.

In the end I decided to take some time off at university. I will be taking 6 months off to work, contact various industries for meetings and really consider what I want to do with my knowledge and interests.

Giving yourself time to get to know yourself and your motivations is NOT a failure. I do not consider this me giving up on mechanical engineering. Yes, study was challenging – but not impossible. I consider this decision a logical one which will give me time to really question myself and gain a deeper understanding of who I am and what motivates me.

I am excited to have this time and I will continue to post regularly and update you all on where I am at and what I learn about the range of industries I plan to investigate.

So, I hope you are having a lovely day!



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