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Weighing Your Options

There are a lot of decisions that need to be made as you plan your career.

You could make a quick career decision. But a good decision takes time. It is helpful to plan out big decisions related to employment or job training. Weigh your options. Consider the pros and cons of each option. And set a realistic timeframe for making your decision.

If you feel stuck on a decision, here's a step-by-step approach you can use.

Decision Making Steps Example
Step 1: Describe Your Problem or Situation.
Write down what decision needs to be made. Maybe it's something that's not working in your life. Include what you'd like to improve or change.
Describe the Problem:
I like working in construction but I hurt my leg. I don't think I can do that kind of work anymore. How can I find a job that I'm physically able to do?
Step 2: Gather Information.
Talk with people with knowledge about your problem or situation. Read about it to find possible options.
Gather Information:
  1. I talked with my former coworkers about other jobs in construction.
  2. I talked with my supervising agent about companies that need someone with my skills.
  3. I went to the CareerForce location to find out about different jobs. I looked at books and flyers they had and on different websites.
  4. I found out that I might qualify to be a construction crew supervisor. To be a manager I might need to go back to school for a bachelor's degree.
Step 3: Brainstorm Solutions.
Write down all possible options. Don't worry if they seem hard to achieve or don't make sense.
Brainstorm Solutions:
  1. Go to college in the evenings and work during the day.
  2. Take online classes.
  3. Quit my job and get a bachelor's degree in construction management.
  4. Ask my supervisor if I can change job duties so I don't hurt my leg. Ask for more duties at my job and get more experience in management. Put off getting a promotion for a while.
  5. Apply for financial aid and see how much I can get to go to college.
Step 4: Analyze the Solutions and Choose One.
Weigh the pros and cons of each choice. If you have many good options, you can rank them in order. Put the options you like best at the top of the list and the options you don't like at the bottom. Someone close to you can help you with this list.
Analyze Solutions:
Option: Go to college in the evenings and work during the day.
I can still work and will have income. I have always wanted to get a bachelor's degree. I can apply what I learn to my work in construction. My mom will babysit my daughter while I'm at school.
I won't be able to spend as much time with my daughter. I'll have to quit my church volunteer work for two years. Money will be tighter for a while.
Step 5: Implement Your Solution.
Once you decide which option you like, write down the activities you need to do for this option. Don't forget to plan for deadlines and costs. Find support to help you.
Implement Your Solution:
  1. Apply for financial aid.
  2. Research schools that are close to me and offer evening classes.
  3. Discuss school with my work supervisor for scheduling and possible money for training.
  4. Apply to college and take admission tests.
  5. Budget for books and class fees.
  6. Schedule with my mom to watch my daughter when I'm in class.
  7. Make sure my car works well or get the bus schedule to get to school.

Next Steps: