Career decision making

by 9 Sep, 2015Career Planning0 comments

Choose Your Path written on desert roadCareer decision making

It’s time for career decision making!

You have arrived at step 3 of four steps in the career planning process after having completed steps 1 and 2 as follows:

  1. Self review and self analysis
  2. Fully explore your options

In completing these first two stages of this career planning process. you have accumulated a lot of data about:

  • Yourself – in terms of your skills, interests, values, personal attributes and broader life needs.
  • Opportunities that are available to you which provide a reasonable match with your needs and personal attributes.

The next logical step in the career planning process is to evaluate the information you have gathered and make decisions about your preferred occupations and career pathways.

But before doing that, we need to take a step back, and do some big picture thinking.

Developing your career-life mission statement

This involves writing in at least 30 words, more if you wish (but not too many more), of your vision of who you are, and where you want to go in your life career.

Why so few words? Well, some people find this aspect of career decision making difficult. Others will have a very clear vision about what they want to be in life and in career.

If your mission statement is too long it will probably lack the clarify of focus you need to go forward.

What is a mission statement? How does it link to career decision making?

Almost every major company has a mission statement. And…..I strongly believe people should have one too.

A mission statement is a short, descriptive statement of the common objectives and focus of the organization. It is their purpose for existence.

Your mission statement has the same function – it describes your purpose, and reason for being.

Your mission statement will help you to crystallise your vision of who you are and where you want to go in your life and career. As such it is a very important part of career decision making.

If you cannot envision a lifelong career/life pathway, it may be easier if you focus on the next 3-5 years of your life and career.

Besides……it is a very good idea to regularly revisit and revise your mission statement so that your vision for your next 3-5 years remains current and relevant to you.

what is your mission?

What information should your mission statement contain?

Ideally your statement will contain:

  • the specifics of the job type and industry where you see yourself working
  • reference to things you want to have happen in other areas of your life, such as family, relationship, health, money, leisure and in your spiritual life

As such, your statement should guide you towards successful completion of your job search for a position in a career of your choice. And……guide the action you take to realise your goals in the other parts of your life.

Developing your mission statement is an element of career goal setting.  (This is covered in detail in Step 4.)

It provides a high level target against which your shorter term goals can be set.

Having an idea in your mind of your personal career-life mission is not enough…… it must be written down.

If your mission statement needs to be changed or modified over time, continue to make changes.

But, whatever your statement says, keep your career-life mission in sharp focus in your mind.

As you zero in on your larger goal, your short-term goals will also become clearer.

Stephen Covey and writing your mission statement – free online tool to use

One of the best teachers I have ever come across for developing a mission statement, and for goal setting is the late Stephen Covey.

He was the author of “7 Effective Habits of Highly Effective People”. Perhaps you have already heard of him, and his work.

In this short video, he explains what it is all about.

Further to that, he has provided an excellent and free online mission statement builder to help you write your own mission statement.

Complete your mission statement now!!

So, before reading any further, go ahead and watch the video clip……..and then complete your mission statement online.


Career decision making – next steps

Now What? written by hand in chalk on a blackboardNow that you have a much clearer vision for your future, you can now start to zero in on the best career path or job options to help you make your vision a reality.

You will recall that in Step 2 you will have made a list of between 3 and 5 career path or job options to fully research. We suggested you use a job comparison worksheet.

By now, you should have fully compared the options on your list.  You now also have a mission statement.

So…….now is the time to decide on your best option, or perhaps your best two options.

Because you have fully done your research you should feel comfortable that the option you have chosen is a good fit with your skills, interests, values and so on.

Congratulations! Now you are ready for the final stage of the career planning process – goal setting and action planning.


Career decision making – summary

In this post we have combined all the career planning steps so far and this step concludes with career decision making.

And……. we have added a new item to assist in your career decision making – developing your mission statement.

You will have successfully moved from having a vague idea about your capabilities and future pathways to developing a much narrower focus on some realistic career or job targets.

As you will see in coming posts, this work will be invaluable to you when you begin to put together and implement your self marketing campaign


Your Feedback

Please share your experience with career decision making via the comments section.

  • Has the process helped you? If so, in what ways has this helped? Would you recommend it to others?
  • What’s missing from the process?

That’s it for today! Take a break, you’ve earned it!

Best wishes


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