Making Career Decisions

 What if I choose the wrong major? What if I get stuck in the wrong career? What if…? Do you find yourself asking these kinds of questions? You might be stuck in the decision-making process. There is no one correct way of making career related decisions, or any decision for that matter.  However, if you are stressed, you may want to re-think how you make decisions and try using a different approach.

If you find yourself in a career decision-making dilemma, consider the following realities:

  • There is never a guarantee for success with any decision you make. Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen? Perhaps you choose a career that is not a good fit. If so, you have learned a lot about yourself and the job market in the process, and you now have more information to help you select a better fit next time around.
  • Career related decisions are not irreversible, and will not forever alter your life in one direction or another. Studies show that today’s college graduate will change career directions at least 3-4 times throughout their working life.

 If you need an alternative decision-making method, the planning approach is a good way to start, which involves gathering information about yourself and your options. The more information you collect about a career or major of interest, the clearer the answer might become. Another route that can be helpful is to make a pro’s and con’s list, or writing down all the positives and negatives associated with your options. Sometimes seeing your options on paper can help put things into perspective. Or, sometimes it just helps to sit down with someone you trust and talk about your options- you may discover you have already made up your mind.

 The Career Center has an online tool called The Exploring Majors & Careers Tutorial, which can also be helpful with the process of making major or career related decisions.  If you feel that you would benefit from meeting with a career counselor to review your career options, feel free to schedule an appointment online (www.careercenter.sjsu.edu).

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