Frank Burtnett
Dr. Frank Burtnett is the former President of Education Now, an independent consulting firm headquartered in Springfield, Virginia and Rockport, Maine. Since 1995, he has served as the principal consultant to NAPS on certification, accreditation, credentialing and educational matters. He was recently elected to the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the professional development of search and staffing industry consultants. Frank is a counselor, educator, consultant, and author whose career has been dedicated to educational and career development issues, as well as service to the profession through management roles in professional counseling organizations. Today, he serves as an adjunct professor on the counselor education faculty of Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. His most recent publication, Career Challenges, examines the things people “do wrong” and “don’t do” in their quest for career satisfaction, work life after COVID and life–work balance. Two earlier youth and young-adult oriented guidebooks concentrated on the school-to-college and education-to-work transitions. Frank earned a BS in education at Shippensburg University and an MA and an EdD in counseling at George Washington University. Frank Burtnett invites career questions to answer in his new Q&A on EMinfo. Submit to Frank at ednow@aol.com His book Career Challenges was published by the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. You can order his book: Career Challenges here > https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781475868081/Career-Challenges-Straight-Talk-about-Achieving-Success-in-the-Technology-Driven-Post-COVID-World-of-Work-3rd-Edition

Empowering Candidates to Make Quality Decisions

  By Frank Burtnett  |    Sunday March 26, 2023

EMInfo Reader: I’m finding more and more candidates challenged by making the job and career decisions they often have to make. How might I be more supportive of them during these times?

Dr. Burtnett: Candidates for job or career change, or those facing an important decision of any kind, are in need of decision-making empowerment. Staffing and recruiting professionals are uniquely positioned to help candidates for job change learn and practice how to make quality decisions.

As President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” I believe he was speaking of the avoidance and procrastination and  that often interferes with quality decision-making.

Candidates for job or career change need to learn and practice the elements of good decision-making that I have created to show my students how they can be outstanding decision-making facilitators. They are:

Know there is a decision to be made. Every decision-maker must fully understand the existence and scope of any decision that lies before her/him. Not knowing is relinquishing personal power as others will likely make the decision for them.

Study and consider the any list of options or choices. Bring the decision into full light by devoting adequate time and attention to listing the varied actions that may be taken.

Consider the consequences (pros &cons) of each option. Identify the rewards and risks associated each option will generate.

 Eliminate options or choices that are not realistic or viable at this time.

Rank remaining options or choices in priority order as to their suitability and appeal..

Create a plan for implementing the decision, including a consideration of how others have made the same decision. Learn from others and include a Plan B if appropriate.

Identify the outcome(s) that will signal success and satisfaction that the right decision was made.


Implement and make a personal investment in the decision. Engage in any behaviors that are required to bring the decision to fruition.

Evaluate the decision and determine any “lessons learned” from the decision that may be applicable in future decision-making.

Empowerment requires a significant investment and engagement by the decision-maker, but  every positive decision will strengthen individual decision-making knowledge and skill for the future.

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