Making Job/Career Decisions

What may seem at the outset a simple decision – take the best offer – a recent study shows that many factors are considered than we see on the surface.

The five researchers (Norman Amundson, William Brogen, Maria Iaquinta, Lee Butterfield, and Emily Koert), who wrote this article* conducted in-depth interviews with working adults to get more information on their decision-making experiences.

Their investigation showed that people usually make career decisions based on three overarching themes: 1) decisions that are centered on relational life; 2) decisions that are centered on personal meaning; and 3) decisions that are centered on economic realities.

Job and career decisions are often not ideal. When we are forced to make a difficult sacrifice, we can ask ourselves – how can I make the best decision?  How can I keep my career dreams alive and not become disheartened?

Asking questions like these may help:

* If you accept this job, which doesn’t seem to fulfill your current career goals, what can you do to keep your interest and passion for what you truly value?

* What elements of your work can you use to continue to polish the skills that are important to you?

* Is there a mentor or colleague that you can have career conversations with so that you keep your goals alive for you?

* Will this job give you any time or opportunity to meet new people and increase your network?

* How can you continue to grow in your area of interest when you are not on the job?

*Amundson, N., Brogen, W., Iaquinta, M.; Butterfield, L. and Koert, E. (2010). “Career Decisions From the Decider’s Perspective”. Career Development Quarterly, vol. 58, pp. 336-351.

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