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Career decisions made easier

Evaluation, research and planning
Evaluation, research and planning
Erica Jamieson

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Does the thought of making a decisions come easy to you or is it a stressful and taxing moment in your day. Regardless of your decision making process a career decision requires evaluation, research and planning. Some decision makers like to feel their way through the process rather than intellectualize and they prefer to talk instead of read.

Self-Evaluation

The first step to making a life changing decision is to evaluate where your life is at this very moment. Determining your priorities and understanding family and personal needs will help you to identify what decisions, if any, need to be made. It doesn’t make sense to change course if you`re on goal, however, a change of scenery can open up a whole new realm of possibilities. Taking stalk of one’s life determines your starting point; your likes and don’t likes, your passions, lessons learned, skill development and strengths.
Making a decision that affects the rest of your life, like your career, should never be made half-hazard. You need to have all available information to make an informed decision, the process by which you access this information will help develop research objectives. Research objectives are important to ensure the information you`re accessing will be relevant. There is such a thing as too much research, which will bog you down and get you off topic. By outlining your research objectives you can stay on topic and focus on the task at hand.

Research

Once you’ve completed your evaluation and made decisions about which areas of your life requires work, you can research a variety of topics to help you to make decisions about which courses of action are appropriate for you. Let’s say, for example, after careful evaluation you determine your witty cutting edge humour makes you an ideal candidate for stand-up comedy. However, you determine due to your need to do it right the first time you decide on training and hands-on experience. Your research outline will include possible schools, training availability, prerequisites and a list of clubs in the area that do stand up.

Planning

Good research will provide you with multiple possibilities and options. Once completed, you combine your evaluation with your research. What next steps make the most sense, what can be done in a reasonable timeframe and what costs will be required. Your self-evaluation will help you create a plan once you apply your priorities and matching them to your research, planning will be a matter of plugging in the numbers.

Planning allows you to breakdown the bigger picture into more manageable pieces. Training, job experience, references and so forth are all ways of identifying what needs to be done to get to where you're going. Starting at the end to work your way back is one way to start. However you do it, be sure to identify what meshes with you personally, for example, going back to school for some just isn't feasible. Being aware of your limits will ensure that you can work around them so that your plan is both flexible and reasonable for you to reach.

Regardless of a right or wrong decision you will still feel, what marketers refer to as, buyer’s remorse. Buyer’s remorse is a marketing term that describes what a buyer feels when they make big purchases. It is important because if that feeling overcomes the buyer they will return the product. It is important to be cognizant of buyer’s remorse so as to not confuse it with bad decision making.

Despite all your planning, research and self-evaluating there are still circumstances that couldn’t be accounted for; broken down car, accidental death in the family, and other events out of your control that will affect your time. Flexibility is always the best advice. Decision making about your career can be a fun process, so go with what you know and what you feel, both will serve you well.