Make Wise Decisions, Part 3: Decide

Make a decision and set goals
After completing your research, you are ready for some decision-making and goal setting tasks. These will help you decide which career field or types of jobs you are going to seek—or which options you will choose as your next step. Then you can set some goals.
Questions to ask yourself:
  • What will be the focus of your job search?
  • How will you describe your plans to prospective employers?
  • What steps will you take to reach your goals?
Tasks to complete:
  • Narrow your focus by integrating the self assessment and research information you have gathered.
  • Understand your decision-making style.
  • Set some specific and realistic goals for yourself.
  • Create a realistic timeline for your goals.
  • Begin to "own" your focus/decision by talking about it.

Mavis makes her decision.
While most of her teammates are in their early-to-mid twenties, Mavis is slightly older than that. As far as she's concerned, she'll never be so old that she will stop wanting to learn about herself. She values reflection and gives herself time every day to stop and think about what's happening and her direction. She didn't sign up for a service year just for an Education Award, but after these past few months, she's decided what she'd like to do most after her term of service ends is go back to school. She would never have thought that an option had she not had this experience surrounded by these idealistic, enthusiastic young people. The community college where she lives offers coursework in nonprofit management. That sounds right up her alley!

Decision-making Strategies

In the weeks ahead, you may find yourself using any or all of the decision-making strategies described below:
  • Confused—This decision-making strategy is characterized by mental paralysis and confusion. You may feel powerless and unable to deal with the decision at all.
  • Dependent—If you use this strategy, you generally prefer to leave the choice to others. This strategy may be used out of fear to avoid the work of exploring other options.
  • Intuitive—Intuitive decisions are "gut level" reactions with little supporting factual data.
  • Deliberate—People using this strategy explore both their needs and their environments and weigh possible alternatives. This strategy combines four approaches—gathering information, comparing alternatives, checking out personal feelings and seeking the opinions of others.
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