In your quest for career change answers, once you have a good understanding of yourself and your career related needs, and you've researched career options that interest you, it's time to make some decisions and take action. Your goal for this phase in the career planning process is to determine, out of all of the career options you have in mind, which one is the best fit for your interests, abilities, dominant work values and needs.
Some people are very intuitive about decision making. That is, once they have the information they need, they just feel, on a gut level, which career choice is best. Others are more analytical and like to weigh the pros and cons of each option before coming to a decision. There's no right or wrong way to make this kind of choice, there are just different ways of making decisions.
For those of you who like to be more analytical (or for intuitive types who want to try out a different way of thinking), there are a couple of tools I've used that can be quite helpful in providing career decision guidance.
The first tool is called a decisional balance. The decisional balance, conceptualized by Janis and Mann, is like a pro and con list, only much more thorough because it causes you to consider all sides of a decision. When you work through a decisional balance, you think through the benefits and costs of making a specific choice, and then you think through the benefits and costs of not making a specific choice.
The decisional balance is very effective, not only in assessing the consequences of choosing an option, but also in assessing the consequences of not choosing that option. I've included a link to a sample decisional balance sheet at the bottom of the article and in the Career Resources section of this site; it will give you a good sense of exactly how to use this tool to make career decisions.
The other tool I've used for decision making is a simple program called Choose It. I've used a lot of career planning software that is far more complex, so I was actually pretty skeptical when I came across Choose It, because its concept is very simple. Although it's not designed for making career choices exclusively, Choose It is actually a pretty handy tool that can help you to assess and weigh your priorities and the extent to which your decisions will impact those priorities. Again, you'll find a link to Choose It at the bottom of this article and in the Career Resources section.
Of course, once you come up with your own career change answers, your next step is to make it happen. Once you're ready to learn the job search strategies you'll need to make your next career happen, all of that information is also just a click away at the BellaOnline Job Search Site.
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The career change educators at AnalyzeMyCareer.com use the same well respected, professional assessment tools that I have used myself to manage my own career and help my own clients discover and achieve their career goals.