Career Decision-Making; Basic Steps Required For Making Effective Decisions, step 2
A decision can be defined as the act of choosing. It is what you do instead of doing something else. A decision, whether you are aware of it or not, is a response to a question, concern or problem. One chooses to formally plan or not plan his career. Some students choose to specifically list their values and goals. For example:
John stopped by the Career Resource Center because he DECIDED he wanted to be tested for career direction.
Sherri DECIDED to write down her life values and the goals she established to help her move closer to realizing them.
An elaboration of each step follows:
STEP 1: BECOME AWARE OF THE NEED TO MAKE A DECISION
Clearly state the concern of whatever it is that requires that a choice be made. If you are unaware that you must make a decision, you may be unconsciously making decisions which are self-defeating. (e.g., you decide whether or not to get up in the morning, to read a book, to go to work or school, to follow-up on a career survey results, etc.)
STEP 2: IDENTIFY WHAT IT IS YOU VALUE AND DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT MORE INFORMATION IS REQUIRED
You may need to go through a values checklist or something similar. If necessary, seek the assistance of a qualified counselor. The more specific you are in knowing and prioritizing what is most important to you, the easier it will be for you to make your choice.
STEP 3: GATHER ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION YOU BELIEVE IS NEEDED IN ORDER TO MAKE A MORE INFORMED AND WISER DECISION
Some of the additional information may be obtained through personal self-scrutiny or “from within,” (you have started to do some of this if you went through the process of identifying your values.) Other information may be obtained through sources outside of yourself (books, magazines, people, etc.) Questions that need to be answered are: Do I have enough information to make an informed choice? If not, what information is needed? Where and how can I get it?
STEP 4: AFTER YOU HAVE GATHERED THE INFORMATION YOU BELIEVE YOU NEED, ELIMINATE THOSE NOT CLOSE ENOUGH AND DETERMINE THE POSSIBLE RESULTS OF YOUR FINAL OPTIONS.
Questions that need to be answered here are: Which choice appears to have the best possibility of obtaining for you the desired outcome? Which one offers the least possibility?
STEP 5: SELECT THE ONE ALTERNATIVE (THIS IS REALLY YOUR GOAL WHICH YOU BELIEVE WILL MOST EFFECTIVELY HELP YOU TO REALIZE YOUR VALUES AS WELL AS APPROPRIATELY COMPLEMENT YOUR PERSONALITY.
A goal can be defined as the end result(s) of that which you value. One could also say a goal is something which has been attained or is to be achieved. Questions that need to be answered are: Which alternative appears to be closest to my values, personal attributes, skills, and interests? Which one will I go through the most “storms” (pain or difficulty) for in order to “make it happen?”
STEP 6: DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A PLAN OF ACTION(S)
Basically; what you are doing here is carrying through with your decision. After making your choice, you must act on it. The action you take will normally consist of setting and attaining short-term and intermediate goals which, in turn, move you closer to your long-term goal. This process should help you in increasingly realize your underlying values.
For example; one might say. “My decision is to attend GRCC and earn an associate degree in Radiological Technology. Therefore, I must take Biology and Chemistry this semester and pass both classes with at least a “B”. It would also help if I work part-time in a hospital this summer.”
ANALYSIS: The short-term goal, although not cited might be to get an “A” on today’s Chemistry quiz. The intermediate goals are passing both Biology and Chemistry with at least a “B” and working part-time this summer. The long-term goal is to earn an associate degree in Radiological Technology. Several underlying values might be Health, Skill, and Helping Others.
STEP 7: WHENEVER NECESSARY, REVIEW AND REPEAT STEPS 1-6 (IN TERMS OF YOUR ORGINIAL DECISIONS.)
SPECIAL NOTE: Should you have difficulty understanding or applying any of the steps cited, please seek help from a career counselor.
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