By Susan Guarneri
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.
10 Tips for Career Decision-Making
While conducting your dig-deep research into best-fit career options, you may find that you are easily overloaded with information or suffer from “analysis paralysis”. This can be common when sorting through the vast information to be found online and offline.
But remember, the purpose of all that research is to determine one option that you can actually focus on now, for your job search or career development. Here are some tips to help you through the sometimes confusing and seemingly impenetrable career decision-making process:
1. Time Frame: When do you need to come to a decision? Having a deadline means you will feel the push to organize your time to do the necessary research and evaluation of career options.
2. Practical Questions: For each career you are considering, ask yourself:
- Does this occupation seem interesting to you?
- What training is needed? How can you get it? Are you willing to put in the time and effort to complete the training?
- What is the salary level, both now and projected?
- Is there an opportunity to advance in this career? Is there more than one way to advance?
3. No Assumptions: Check out the facts. Do not rely on your own opinions or the opinions of others as the ONLY basis to eliminate (or keep) a career option.
4. Multiple Sources: Use many avenues (Internet, library, network connections, thought leaders in the career field, etc.) to research each viable career choice. Keep track of what you find via a spreadsheet or organized paper file method.
5. Gut Check: How do you feel about the careers you have short-listed? Pay attention to your physical stress zones (head, neck and shoulders, stomach, etc). If you are getting signals from your body that indicate something is amiss with a prospective career, do not discount this factual input. What might this be saying about your ability to actually perform in this occupation on a daily basis?
6. Pros and Cons: Look at the pluses and minuses of each possible choice. Prioritize the pros and cons in side-by-side columns, and rate each of them on a scale from one to ten. Then compare the total scores in each column. What career has the highest score for Pros and the lowest score for Cons?
7. Problem Solve: How can you overcome the Cons (negatives) listed above if a particular occupation really appeals to you?
8. Intuition: Which ONE occupation do you seem to be drawn to again and again in your research and pondering? Why is that? Balanced decision-making requires that you incorporate both logical analysis, as well as your feelings and values.
9. Commitment: Are you ready to make your decision and stick with it? If not, why not? What exactly is holding you back?
10. Get Unstuck: Contact a career counselor or career coach if you find yourself mired in decision-making limbo. Sometimes a trained professional, who is also an objective third-party, can provide the needed guidance and input to clarify your confusion and get you moving.
Susan Guarneri, Career Assessment Goddess and Reach Master Branding Strategist, can guide you to your best-fit career options and help you land your Dream Job.