A corporate intern has to reconsider his options: using Option Solving?

Not so long ago a friend informed me about his son’s precarious internship situation. After a successful MBA his son had been recruited by a large industrial company as an intern with the likelihood of a more permanent position if everything went well. Unfortunately, the fortunes of his new prospective employer changed with almost non-existent sales in his division, so a moratorium was placed on any further hiring.

Now he was left with a career dilemma. Either he finds a position in another division or go elsewhere. In short order he was offered a position X within an adjacent area, but he had already held such a position before and didn’t enjoy it. That’s why he went back to business school for his MBA.  The division executive was not happy about this at all and felt the internee was making a mistake by not accepting the position. His father was concerned as to how his son would satisfactorily solve his dilemma.

Once his father came to understand the option solving approach, he thought it was worthwhile thinking through his son’s options and then discuss them with him. He was challenged to develop an initial rational question with consider-ations, which turned out to be: “What is my best option for securing the right position at company A; considering 1) short on time as internship finishes end of April, 2) my X qualification is more of hindrance than help, 3) I’m being bamboozled into a role I’m not interested in, 4) the local culture is somewhat restrictive, and 5) my current leader has been my best help to date?”  He looked at other several other considerations but chose to draw upon the most important ones. It was pointed out to him not to place too many considerations into any picture, so as not to overly complicate matters.

Now that his question was posed, he could now find appropriate yin and yang “bookends” as a framework for likely viable options. He would use his bookends for framing his chosen options and then jolt his own experiences to arrive at a minimum of five alternatives. His bookends came out as, “Leave as soon as possible” and “Accept what company A gives me.” Look at our Latest Worked Example to see why these two bookends wouldn’t stand. Even so, they were most useful as prompts for my friend’s intuitive mind, when considering his son’s final options.

He subsequently produced six options, so was in good shape. You can see his six alternatives in our Latest Example: where one is: “Option C: Keep fingers crossed for sales or mktg. position at company A.”

Based upon his “pictogram,” I nudged him to present and discuss it with his son

to determine what he saw as his best option through  the emotional distancing  technique. That is, either taking some time-out or sleeping on it. Which option would you choose if you were in the son’s position?

In two weeks, we’ll see what his son’s outcome was.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Outcome of son’s choice: A corporate intern has to reconsider his options?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)


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