Make Career Decisions

In this stage, you will evaluate your options, develop your goals and make informed decisions.

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The Decision-Making Process

1.    Organize your personal assessment and major/career exploration information

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 sometimes your major doesn’t necessary 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.

5.  Plan your next steps

  • Move on to the ACTION stage of career development to browse ideas on planning your next steps and ways to begin your path!

“Remember, having a career plan will keep you focused and driven, and remaining open to unexpected opportunities that pique your interest will allow you to adapt your plan and keep your career moving forward.”


Helpful Resources

Career Decision Making Difficulties Questionnaire is good for students who feel stuck or indecisive about career decision making. This short questionnaire identifies the difficulties you may be experiencing as well as recommendations on how to overcome those difficulties

How to Make Hard Choices (TED Talk) “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.

How to Make Big Career Decisions You Won’t Regret (from The Muse) offers five simple strategies to keep in mind as you make career decisions.

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