What Involved in the Career Choice of Students

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What's Involved in Career Choice[1]

A pyramid can be used to show what's involved in making a career choice (see Figure 1):

Knowing About Myself, such as
My values
Example: security
My interests
Example: working with people
My skills
Example: using a computer to plan a budget

Knowing About My Options
Understanding specific occupations, programs of study, and jobs Examples:
What are typical work tasks for a real estate appraiser? How much math is required for a major in Finance?
What is the average starting salary for a retail salesperson? What type of training is required to be a physical therapist? Understanding how occupations and programs of study can be organized Example:

Realistic
Investigative
Artistic
Social
Enterprising
Conventional
Understanding how job settings can be organized
Example:
Business/Industry
Government
Education
Non-Profit
Professions
Private Enterprise

Knowing How I Make Decisions
How do I usually make important decisions?

Thinking About My Decision Making
Self-talk
Example: "I'll never be able to make a good career choice." Self-awareness
Example: "I'm getting very scared about this."
Being aware of and controlling my self-talk
Example: "I can't really predict the future and imagining failure is not going to help me find a good job."

Figure 1

What's Involved in Career Choice

Reprinted from The Career Development Quarterly, 41, 1992, p. 70, copyrighted NCDA. Reprinted with permission of the National Career Development Association. Used with permission. A Guide to Good Decision Making[2]

A cycle can be used to show the steps in making a career choice (see Figure 2):

Knowing I Need to Make a Choice
Events - things that happen to me
"I need to choose a program of study by next semester." Comments from my friends and relatives
"My roommate said that I'll have problems if I don't make a decision soon." The way I feel
"I'm scared about committing myself."
Avoiding my problems
"I'll get started next week."
Physical problems
"I'm so upset about this, I can't eat."

Understanding Myself and My Options
Understanding myself, such as
My values
My interests
My skills
Understanding occupations, programs of study, or jobs
Understanding specific occupations, programs of study, or jobs Understanding how occupations, programs of study, or jobs are organized Understanding how I make important decisions

Understanding how I think about my decisions
Self-talk
Self-awareness
Being aware of and controlling my self-talk

Expanding and Narrowing My List of Occupations, Programs of Study, or Jobs Identify occupations, programs of study, or jobs that fit my values, interests, and skills Pick the 3 to 5 best occupations, programs of study, or jobs using what I learned from "Understanding Myself and My Options"

Choosing an Occupation, Program of Study, or Job
Costs and benefits of each occupation, program of study, or job to: myself?
my family?
my cultural group
my community or society?
Rank occupations, programs of study, or jobs
Make a choice
Make back-up choice(s) in case I have a problem with my first choice

Implementing My Choice
Plan - Make a plan for getting education or training
Try Out - Get work experience (full time, part-time, volunteer) and take courses or get training to test my choice Apply - Apply for and get a job

Knowing I Made a Good Choice
Have events changed?
How did my friends and relatives react to my choice?
How do I feel now?
Am I...
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