Decreasing danger of disapointment - How not to form wrong expectations

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Decreasing danger of disapointment - How not to form wrong expectations

Recently, I have written about illusions we build from the world and that life can be quite unsatisfactory, once we have to face a reality that does not match our expectations. In this text, I collected some tips you could bear in mind once you collect information to form a decision maybe about a new job or an internship or any project that you start. Hopefully, it helps you to form expectations that match the reality more and will make your decisions a bit more satisfactory.


Tipp no.1: Be aware of your implicit hypotheses

This is one of the most difficult tasks! Implicit hypotheses are all the things you assume about the new job or study program - but you are not aware of that assumptions. These are things you take for granted and expect without questioning them. These things are influenced by prior experience and your upbringing. Maybe in your family, people open up about problems they have with each other, so you expect people to talk to you when they have a problem. When you now start an internship in a new company the culture may differ. People may not tell each other what they feel so openly. However, you might start telling your colleagues what you don’t like and get bad feedback for doing so. This is just one example of what might happen if you are not aware of your implicit hypotheses - and how they differ from other people. As you are not aware of these hypotheses it is extremely difficult to reveal them. Mostly, you become aware that you had a differing perception once it clashes with reality. How can you find out about them before you encounter embarrassing moments? Talk to people. Talk to your colleagues about how you think things work here and ask them what they think. They will tell you what their world view is. Talk to very diverse people. Not only your boss or colleagues but maybe the cleaning lady and the secretary. Exchange your expectations regarding your study program with other first semester students and talk to older students that have already accomplished what you wish to do. 


Tipp no.2: Consider the source

This is very important! As we are flooded with information there is not much time left to analyze every single bit of what we are faced with. Not all information has the same quality and you should weigh them accordingly. When you in an interview keep in mind that the person may have the interest to attract you to their organization and when you are browsing through anonymous blog posts and comments, you do not know how reliable that information may be. My suggestion is always to use multiple sources. Use official information for basic information, but match them with personal experiences reports from people who you expect to tell you the truth. 


Tipp no. 3: Spot inconsistencies

Way too often we rely on the things people tell us and tend to overlook small signs of inconsistencies. However, theses small signs may be very suitable hints for you to get a bit suspicious. When an employer tells you that they value punctuality and reliability highly but start the interview with a delay, there is something weird going on. Or when you are told that student’s initiative is highly welcomed but there are actually no lively and active initiatives. These might be hints that people tell you not the truth. This is sometimes not done to harm or lie purposefully.  Have in mind that we sometimes do not talk about things we are actually strong in but things we wished to be strong in. We tell the false perception not only others but mostly ourselves.

Published on Wednesday 15th July 2020

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