Intentional Change- What are the Costs?


This post continues a series called six steps to change.This post will be followed by one on counting the costs of unintentional change.

Planned, intentional change often involves counting the costs because one is weighing whether to change or stay the same. If there is more than one option to choose from (multiple job offers or a couple of desirable houses for sale in your price range), we tend to feel more secure we can make the right choices, even if it takes longer to consider all of the pros and cons of each option.

For every change option we have, there are costs- some intended, other unintended.

The intended cost of change is usually the very reason you are considering the change to begin with. Better pay or benefits, nicer home, better schools for the kids, etc. The decision of intended costs is one of cost-benefit analysis- do the benefits of change outweigh the costs. The answer to this question may change over time, especially if it is mainly a financial question.

Unintended costs are harder to determine. Time and thoughtful consideration are important. Other factors may also help reduce negative unintended consequences:

  • Get professional advice.
  • Ask someone who has been in your shoes making the same or similar decision.
  • Research for yourself. Advice usually helps determine a starting point for research.
  • Once you have determined potential unintended costs of change, you have to decide if you can “afford” those costs. There will either be mitigating factors (those that reduce risks) or motivating factors (those that make one move ahead in spite of the risks). Either way, you have to decide if you can finish what you start:

    For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Luke 14:28 (KJV)

    What else would you add to the list when it comes to counting the intended or unintended costs of a life change?

    Copyright 2013 Glen Gaugh

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