Create a Personal Scorecard to Ease Transition

Posted by Kelli McKinney

militaryauthority.com transition to civilian lifeIf you’re this guy, you have a pretty solid life plan going. You’ve reverse engineered your career, starting with your vision of successful retirement, and back-stepped your way toward where you are now. It’s highly probable that you have either physically or mentally documented every milestone along the way. Kudos to you, and you can stop reading this now and go read something VanSteenwyk wrote.

If you’re like the rest of us, you need a little help from time to time. One tool that gets results in both the professional and the personal world is the scorecard. The scorecard works because it prompts you to consider your decision-making criteria, set standards, and evaluate against your standards.

The scorecard method can help you weigh your options as you prepare to transition into the civilian world. For example, if you’re considering relocation from your current post, you might be interested in living in New York, Albuquerque, and LaJolla. Your scorecard might look like this: 

 

 

 NYC

 Albuquerque

 LaJolla

Cost of housing

   1

   2

   1

Job opportunities

   3

   2

   1

Friends/Family near

   1

   3

   1

Weather

   2

   2

   3

TOTAL

    7

    9

    6

 

In this scorecard, we’ve set four criteria for evaluation: housing, jobs, friends/family, and weather (you can set your own criteria). On a scale of 1-3, with one being poorest and three being best, we ranked each city based on those criteria. Cost of housing is highest in NY and LaJolla; it’s okay in Albuquerque. This example is a pretty simple one, but you can create your own and make it as complicated or simple as necessary.

You can weight the scorecards if you want to add an element of complexity. Using the same criteria and subjects from above, let’s look at how weighting can add value to your scorecard. 

 

 Weight

 NYC

 Albuquerque

 LaJolla

Cost of housing

   2

   2

   4

   2

Job opportunities

   4

   12

   8

   4

Friends/Family near

   3

   3

   9

   3

Weather

   1

   2

   2

   3

TOTAL

 

   19

   23

   12

 

First we ranked the criteria in order of importance – we thought job opportunities were most important, so we gave it our highest weight (4). Friends, housing cost, and weather followed (in that order). Then we went through our previous scores and multiplied them by their weight – the resulting number is our weighted score.

The beauty of the scorecard exercise is that it imposes a structure to your decision-making process, and structure is a good thing to have when you’re making life decisions. If you’re deciding whether or not go to back to school, scorecards definitely come in handy during the selection process – so does our school finder, which you can visit here or from the military authority web site. What other tools do you turn to help you with important choices? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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