Strictly speaking, there are no good or bad career decisions, but there are well-informed decisions. Sometimes deciding on a career or a job offer isn’t as straightforward as you think as it takes more time to find out what you are good at or what you enjoy doing. But, figuring out what causes this indecision is as crucial as making that first step.
Quite often indecision comes from doubt, either in yourself or in the goal you are hoping to achieve. So this either shows that you are not 100 percent sure of what you want to do or if it is the right choice to make at the time.
If you want to learn how to make better career decisions, here are four scientifically proven methods that work:
#1 Ask The Right Questions
Before you make a big career decision, there are some questions that you need to ask yourself. The best way to start is with these three questions:
- Where are you now?
- Where do you want to be?
- What do you need to do?
These should help you find out what you need to do next in order to make the change. In fact, it will help you create an action plan on how you should move forward with your career decisions. So, let’s say you are faced with a big opportunity, this simple 3-question technique will help you figure out why you might want to take it and determine the steps you need to take to get there. This is the method many career professionals are using to help students figure out the next steps in their career and how these can benefit them in the long run.
#2 Try The D.E.C.I.D.E.S. Model
The D.E.C.I.D.E.S. model uses the acronym ‘decides’ to guide you through the steps of your decision-making:
D – Define the problem: What are you trying to solve?
E – Establish a plan of action: How are you going to tackle your dilemma?
C – Clarify your values and interests: What are the factors behind your decision?
I – Identify the alternative options: What other choice(s) do you have?
D – Discover the probable outcome of each option: What could happen?
E – Eliminate alternatives as you go: Look at outcome against values and interests
S – Start action: Follow the steps for the change
This decision-making technique can be applied to a number of situations and can work hand-in-hand with the previous method. So, let’s say you are not sure whether you want to go into Accounting or Law, which is the problem in this situation, you first need to figure out a plan on how to make a decision, which might include sharing your concerns with a career counselor. Then looking at your interests, values and beliefs will help you to make a decision that will work for you and so on.
#3 Weigh up Your Options
Weighing up your options is an effective way to find out how risky it is to go ahead with your decision. This could work if you are facing a dilemma such as accepting a job offer or even changing a career. The first step is to write down the pros and cons of your decision to help you minimize your doubt. This should also help you tackle the barriers that are preventing from saying yes or no.
A logical approach to making a decision is the decision making grid that helps you analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each situation in more detail. Experts say that you should list all of the relevant decision making factors and rate them (with numbers) as to how important they are to your decision. Then list your options and rate those as well but this time on a different scale to find out how they can be linked to the previous factors. Total up your choices and then use your intuition or gut. Does it feel right to proceed or not? What can you do instead?
#4 Think About The Future
The best way to test if the decision you are about to make will work for you is to think about your future expectations. Will changing career make you happier? Will the next job help you to provide for your family? If you are unsure, visualization can be a very useful decision making technique. In fact, it works if you want to follow your intuition but you are still concerned about the outcome. Once you visualise what it would be like to be working as freelance professional, for example, you will be able to tell if that’s something you want to do eventually.
Have you ever tried any of these decision making methods? If yes, how did they help you? Let me know in the comments section below…