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Decision Process

Decision Process

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Published by: gulraizliaqat on Oct 22, 2009
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08/31/2010

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6-Step Decision-making Model
Introduction
Students make decisions everyday. Choosing a major and/or a career field essentially involvesthe decision-making process. The effectiveness of choosing a major and career field relies oninformation available to you at the point you are making your decision. Information is vitallyimportant in the decision-making process. The effectiveness of any decision you make relies onaccurate and up-to-date information. Information about yourself, college majors, and the worldof work will be helpful to you as you go through the process of choosing a major and/or career field.Recent research indicates that it is typical for undergraduates to try out four or five majors beforearriving at a decision. If you have not selected a major or you are uncomfortable with the major you are currently in, you are not alone.A common myth about selecting an academic major is that the major you choose must relate to aspecific field. The reality is that a bachelor's degree prepares you for many different career  paths. Some majors are more directly linked to specific career options, while others are lessdirectly related. For example, a Nursing major will most likely work in the field of nursing or aclosely related healthcare position. However, a Sociology major may work as a caseworker,manager, claims representative or marketing manager, to name a few.There are many factors that may influence your choice of major and/or career field. For example,family and cultural influences, economic trends, skill preferences, peer pressure, personal values,work values, interests, personality, health considerations, natural talents, and aptitude are severalfactors that may influence career and education decisions. Everyone experiences some fear or apprehension when making a decision. We also learn about ourselves and about how we makedecisions each time we go through the decision-making process.People use many different strategies when making decisions. The decision-making process is avery personal process that varies from one person to the next. The following are a few decision-making strategies each of us has used.
Impulsive
:Little thought or examination; taking the first alternative; one does not "look beforethey leap."
Fatalistic
:Letting the environment decide; leaving it up to fate, "it is all in the stars."
Compliant
:Let someone else decide for you or follow someone else's ideas.
Delaying
:Postponing the decision or action; "deciding" to make the decision sometime in thefuture.
Agonizing
: Getting lost in all the data; getting overwhelmed with analyzing the alternatives.
 
Intuition
:Using your gut feeling, hunch, or sense to make a decision, usually done withoutgathering all the necessary information or considering alternatives.
Frozen
:Unable to make a decision; no alternative seems possible; complete indecision andfear.All of us have used some or all of the above decision-making strategies at one time in our life.Sometimes the decision-making strategy we use may interfere or prevent us from making adecision, making a decision in a timely manner, or making one that is right for us.The following is a 6-Step Decision-making Model that will help give you an outline to follow asyou begin the process of making education and career decisions.
Step 1: Identify the Decision to be Made
Before you begin gathering information, it is important that to have a clear understanding of what it is you are trying to decide. Examples of decisions you might consider are:What is going to be my choice of major?How does my major relate to the world of work?Would I like to select a minor to compliment my major?What are my educational goals?Do I want to go to graduate school?Which G.E. courses will introduce me to various majors/fields?How does my choice of major relate to my career goals.What are my career goals?
Step 2: Get to Know Yourself 
Before you select a major, choose a field or career, or decide whether you would like to go tograduate school, it is important to develop a sense of who you are - your interests, values, skills,and personality. Some questions you might wish to consider are:
Interests
:What brings my joy?What do I spend my time thinking or reading about?What activities or classes do I really like?What types of people to I like to be around?What energizes me - either things I have seen, heard about, or done?What is my earliest recollection of what I wanted to do when I "grew up?" How does itrelateto what I am thinking about now?
Skills
:
 
What activities have I enjoyed doing?What are my strengths? What skills do I least enjoy using?Which skills and abilities would I most enjoy using at work or in school?What skills would I enjoy using that I need to still acquire?What are my natural talents?
Values
:What characteristics need to be present in your ideal job or career?How does the way you live your life relate to your choice of major or career field?What motivates you?What are the five most important things in your life; how do you prioritize them?When you look back on your life, what are you most proud about?How would others describe you? What would they say you value?
Personality
What is my attitude like?How would others describe your personal qualities?Do you prefer to primarily work alone or with others?How does your personality relate to your choice of major and/or career field?Do you prefer working with people, data or things?What type of people do you feel most comfortable being around?
Step 3: Begin to Identify Options (Career Exploration)
Exploring the world of work and academic majors includes gathering additional informationabout ideas you are already considering as well as learning about new ideas and options you havenot considered. Information is empowering. There are many sources of information about collegemajors and careers.Are you creating time in your schedule to research and gather information?Have you identified some of your options based upon what you have learned aboutyourself?Are you able to write down the options you are considering in your choice of major or career field?As you gather information, what additional options/alternatives have you discovered?
Step 4: Factors Influencing Decisions
As you enter into the process of deciding on an education and career plan, including your choiceof a major and/or career field, you may experience factors, both positive and negative, that areimpacting your ability to identify options, choose among alternatives, make a decision, or followthrough with your choices. The staff in the Career Center is available to assist you withidentifying internal and external influences to your decision-making process, including strategies

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