DECISION MAKING

These seven steps can be applied to career decisions:

1. Identify the decision to be made.
The decision to be made is what career will best fill my needs and interests.

2. Gather information.
  *Know what is important to you, what you value, and what you want to obtain.
  *Find out how people who are important in your life will be affected by your decision.
  *What other factors might impact the decision?
  *Facts about possible alternatives. Know as much as you can about the careers you are considering. Examine the information you have and seek new information.

3. Identify the alternatives.
List all of the career options that you are seriously considering after you complete steps one and two. New ideas and options can always be added.

4. Assign values and predict outcomes.
Consider as many pros and cons (risks and costs) as possible about each alternative. Use imagination. See what the outcome of your choice would be. Another method of weighing evidence is to check each alternative against your value system. This allows the most important aspects of the alternatives to become evident. Clarify prioritization of choices. You may use a prioritizing grid.

5. Choose among the alternatives.
At some point, a decision has to be made. A decision releases energy. It is a relief to have an answer. A decision is only "right" or "wrong" for you. It is personal and others cannot finally make a decision for you. And there may be more than one right decision. Once you decide, make a commitment to that choice.

6. Take action.
Make a plan for doing things to make your decision happen. A time table helps. Set goals and break it into steps. Identify barriers. Identify resources to help you overcome barriers. It is also a good idea to check in with someone who will support your action and keep you moving.

7. Review decision.
A decision can be changed. It is not cast in concrete. If your decision does not feel right after some action has been taken, you can reconsider previous alternatives or generate new possibilities. Changing your mind given new information is healthy.