Career Decision Making

Guide to Career Decision Making/Choosing a Major, Occupation or Job

There are several objectives to consider when trying to choose a major, occupation or job, including knowing about yourself, knowing about your options, knowing how you make decisions and identifying/addressing any barriers to your career decision making.  The relationship between these objectives is outlined in the diagram below.  

Pyramid of Information Processing

Once you realize you need to make a career decision, the next step is to clarify what you know about yourself and your options. In looking at your self-knowledge it is important to consider your skills, interests, and values. In terms of your career journey, interests tell you what direction to pursue; skills tell you how long it will take to get there; and values tell you whether or not the journey is worth taking. In other words, interests are what you enjoy doing; skills are what you do well; and values are what motivate you to work. Clarifying this self-knowledge will help you to find options that might be a good fit for you. When you feel you have adequate knowledge about yourself and your options, you may move toward learning about the way that you make decisions.  Where do you feel you need to begin?

I need to start with knowledge about my self.

I need to start with knowledge about my options.

I need to start with knowing how I make decisions.

I need to start with learning about how my thoughts influence my choices.