How do you make decisions?
It can be very useful to be aware of how you make decisions. In identifying your decision making style you can use this awareness to assist in your future decision-making.
Rational Decision maker:
This approached is characterised by using a logical and structured approach to decision making.
SWOT analysis - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis
Intuitive Decision maker:
This approach is characterised by a reliance upon hunches, feelings and impressions. You will go with gut instinct or what feels right, rather than taking a logical approach to the decision making process.
Dependent Decision maker:
This approach is characterised by reliance upon the advice, direction and support of others. You will find that you are more comfortable making a decision when you have discussed the options with others, and are uncomfortable making decisions alone.
Avoidant Decision maker:
This approach involves attempting to postpone or avoid making a decision. Whilst taking time to reflect on your options is a good idea, avoiding or postponing making the decision can lead to negative consequences.
Spontaneous Decision maker:
This is where the decision maker is impulsive or prone to making snap or spur of the moment decisions. This can be a valuable trait in terms of not over planning the future, but it is not always a good idea to leave important decisions to be made this way.
Only after you have gathered as much relevant information together as possible can you begin to consider your decision. People often try to make a decision based on very little information. This can be frustrating and it is often impossible to settle on a decision when missing some details or information. With enough information gathered you will be able to see a clearer picture, your decision will much more informed, and likely much more straight forward
The best decisions and those easiest to live with, are made when you have gathered as much relevant information as possible. Putting a lot of research and thought into a decision based on the relevant available information will mean that you can trust yourself to make “the best decision you can at that time”. This can be help in avoiding a lot of “What if’s” later.
To make an informed career decision gather as much relevant information from the Discover your Career Steps as possible.
From Step 1
- Complete and read through the Self-Assessment tests recommended
- Have you identified you interests, skills, values, motivations, strengths/weaknesses?
- Make sure you understand the findings from the assessment tests.
- What do they suggest?
- Do you agree or disagree that you would suit these roles? Why?
- Make comments and questions – you can discuss these with a careers adviser later if you need to.
- Visit Step 1 again now if you need to!
From Step 2
Have you researched relevant career areas?
- Do you know what is involved in getting into the career areas of interest to you?
- Arrange some informational interviews with people working in your area of interest.
- Start building a network of useful contacts
- Explore work experience opportunities
- Do you know where to look for jobs (its not time to apply yet but you should be aware of where to look and what employers are looking for)
- Have you looked into postgraduate course entry requirements/course content etc?
- Find out a taking a year out, possibly to travel or gain experience.
- Visit Step 2 again now if you need to!
- Now review where you are
- Identify gaps in your information. What do you still need to know?
- If you haven’t done any informational interviewing or work experience/work shadowing, doing some now could help provide some of the missing information.
- Would you like to discuss you progress with a careers adviser? Call to the Help-Desk to arrange a meeting.
- Are you wondering about further options or how get ideas for other career ideas ? See Tips for Generating more Career Ideas!
Force Field Analysis
Force Field analysis is an effective method of describing all the forces both for and against a plan. Where it differs from cost/benefit analysis is that you have to weigh the importance of each force to see whether the plan is worth following through. In doing so you can come to a decision which respects the fact that not all the elements carry equal weight. In effect it is a specialised method of weighing the costs and benefits.
Use this Force-Field Analysis Exercise to look at your plan to date, are you ready to take it to the next step?
Set Goals - Make it real!
When a decision has been reached it is easy to become discouraged if your chosen career path appears to be a difficult one, or will require a lot of time and effort. A successful strategy is to set yourself goals. Divide your goals into short term, medium term and long term goals.
Construct a simple chart to document your goals and your progress.
Use the following example as a guide:
Career decision: Become a qualified Counselling Psychologist
Short term goals: Today – 1 month
Contact Careers Service for ideas on locating practicing psychologists, ideas for volunteering experience, relevant courses.
Medium term goals: 1 month – 1 year
Begin to research where to get relevant experience, research relevant training course, conduct interviews with practicing professionals, apply to courses, apply for work experience, secure work experience. Network and join professional bodies.
Long term goals: 1 year – 5 years
Begin postgraduate course. Increase volunteering activities for CV. Begin job search for relevant entry level position. Continue networking and seeking unadvertised positions. Widen employment search to other geographical locations. Use Careers Service to hone business etiquette, application and interview skills.
Expand and update this chart as you progress. Normally, people have more than one goal so it may be necessary to prioritise. Use the following tips to help you set goals:
Refine your decision: What exactly do you wish to achieve? How will you define a successful outcome? Be as specific as you can about the desired outcome of this goal.
Write this down and display it in a prominent position at home or in your study area. Keep this in mind so that you remain focused on your goal.
It may be the case that you have a number of decisions to make, if this is the case make sure you document each decision.
Finally! Be patient. Work consistently. Acknowledge your successes along the way.