Dr. Adrian Camilleri is a senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Technology Sydney. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a Master’s degree in organizational psychology, and a Ph.D. in psychology, all from the University of New South Wales. He completed postdoctoral training in management and marketing at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Adrian is an expert in the fields of cognitive, organisational, and consumer psychology.
On Big Career-Related Decisions
“One of the categories of big decisions that I focused on was career-related decisions. And so these involve questions like starting a new job, quitting a job, starting a business, closing down a business, joining the military, leaving the military, and then retirement. And so when important results from the interviews that I conducted was to look at how these different categories of big life decisions changed between those of different age groups… So leaving a position is also often a very big life decision…And obviously, these career-related decisions culminate in what’s usually the final career-related decision. Quite a number of people. who are about the age of 60, in my survey, had actually decided to retire. So retirement is certainly one of life’s biggest decisions for those who have managed to the point where they’re considering concluding their working career. More than half of those above the age of 60 years old had mentioned explicitly retirement as one of their biggest life decisions…So, when we look at lifestyle satisfaction, those who had already retired, who made that big decision, rated high on life satisfaction compared to those who are not [retired]. Now again, I put the sort of caveat on correlation data. So it could be that those who are already happy with their life are much more likely to retire. But there’s something to be looked at there because I have seen all the research suggesting that those who retire, many of them end up kind of feeling aimless and bored, even unhappy.”
On Self Development Decisions
“And what we see is that self-development type decisions don’t frequently make it onto the list of biggest life decisions, but they do tend to increase over time. So those who are in their sixties and seventies tend to be making more self-development decisions than those who are younger. And as I have mentioned, these self-development decisions tend to be ones that are evaluated more positively. Another follow-up question that I asked participants was how much time did you spend thinking about the decision before you made it? And there’s a nice contrast here between self-destructive and self-development decisions. So those who are making these self-destructive decisions such as committing a crime, taking drugs or something like that, were often thought about for seconds, perhaps minutes. In contrast, self-development decisions were often thought about for months, if not years. And we can think about these self-development decisions in terms of the more positive ones, like pursuing your religion or philosophy or engaging a new hobby or learning a new skill. But certainly reading through the stories that I was presented within these survey results, there were a number of people who were of age 60 and older, who had big life decisions related to seeking treatment. So whether they were deciding to get an operation or to do with cataracts, or arthritis or whether to get a knee replacement or not ”
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