Step 3: Make Career Decisions
In this step, you will evaluate your options and make informed decisions on what careers you want to explore further or select as your career.
The Decision Making Process
1. Organize your personal assessment and major/career exploration information.
- Review all the assessments you completed and information on all the major and career exploration.
- If you haven’t done so already, be sure to complete the assessment tools and explore your major/career.
2. Clarify Your Options.
- Reflect on and analyze findings from your assessment results and the majors/careers you researched.
- What majors and careers are most aligned with your assessments with “who you are?”
- Develop a short list of majors and/or careers.
3. Evaluate Information.
- Focus your attention on this short list of possible majors and careers.
- Evaluate each option, considering possible outcomes, potential barriers or consequences, potential rewards or advantages, etc.
- You may need to revise your list based on your needs, situation, timeline, and more.
4. Select Your Major/Career.
- Select a first-choice major/career and a back-up major/career based on what is best suited for you at this time in your life.
- Remind yourself that most people will have an average of 12-15 jobs throughout their lifetime and your major doesn’t necessarily equate to the career you will have your entire life.
- You can always adjust your plans as needed, especially when interesting opportunities are presented at unexpected times.
- You can always return to Steps 1, 2, and/or 3 to continue exploring and stay connected with your counselor.
5. Plan your Next Steps.
- Move on to the ACTION stage of career development to browse ideas on planning your next step.
Decision Making Resources
- Career Decision Making Difficulties Questionnaire will help you identify the difficulties that you might experience while choosing a career and will provide recommendations on how to overcome those difficulties.
- How to Make Hard Choices - “Big decisions can be agonizingly difficult. But that’s because we think about them the wrong way,” says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.