The third and ongoing step in career planning is making a decision and creating an action plan. A career decision is any major choice and commitment that you feel is of importance in your life; it may or may not be directly related to work. It is true that some people seem to be more comfortable and effective than others are when it comes to making a decision. Remember that decision-making is a skill and you can improve any skill through practice. A valid decision exhibits the following process:
Clearly define the major decisions affecting your life; these could stating your sense of God’s will and direction, marriage and family, finding a job, intended lifestyle, retirement, and other life goals.
Know yourself: your values, your dimensions as a man or woman, short and long term goals, your talents, strengths and interests.
Evaluate the current information you have and, when necessary, seek, evaluate and use new information.
Identify your alternatives, predict the consequences—the costs and benefits—of each one, and so establish the desirability of each consequence.
Make a choice and evaluate the suitability of your choice. Decide if you need new information and need to repeat the process.
Develop a plan of action for reaching the goals you have set.
Develop the skills you will need to overcome obstacles regarding educational, occupational, or personal issues.
If you want to become a better decision-maker, put this process into action immediately -- and on paper! Seeing your decisions unfold in writing can be very helpful and will focus your attention on those areas of your life that are most critical in your career planning process. Your academic advisor and the Career Services staff are among the many resources available at LeTourneau University to assist you in this process.