Choosing a potential career path can be overwhelming for first-time jobseekers. This exercise shows that a 7-step decision-making process works for decisions you make on a daily basis as well as for bigger decisions – from deciding what to wear to choosing a career.
At the end of this process; if you find there are new alternatives to be considered, the 7 step process may need to be repeated with the new evidence, or alternatives, you have gathered until you have come to an informed decision you can be happy with.
1. Identify the decision to be made.
- (What shall I wear to work today?)
- (Go to 2- or 4-year college, where, what major; or choose military or work.)
2. Gather the information.
- (What’s the weather going to be like? What’s cleaned and pressed?)
- (Gather facts about myself — interests, abilities, values; gather facts about career options — salary, work setting, education or training required; sources to get more information?)
3. Identify the alternatives.
- (Either my blue suit, gray pants or blue jeans and a t-shirt.)
- (What career options suit me best?)
4. Weigh the evidence.
- (Blue suit is right for today’s weather, but too dressy for my activities. I feel like wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but I have an appointment later and that would not be appropriate dress. My gray pants are a good compromise, but I must find a matching shirt.)
- (Consider the pros and cons; what are the short-term and long-term outcomes; recognize obstacles; what resources are available to meet my goals?)
5. Choose among the alternatives.
- (Gray pants and white shirt.)
- (From Step 4, generate a list of possible career or college choices.)
6. Take action.
- (Press clothes and get dressed.)
- (Make a definite plan — visit a work environment, visit schools or talk to college representatives.)
7. Review and evaluate the decision.
- (Look in the mirror, decide it looks good, but might need to change shoes)
- (Did I consider all the important factors? Are there new alternatives I need to consider?)