Jump over the site's section navigation.

Commit: Launch Your Career Journey

Making Career Decisions

Making a good decision involves carefully examining the information you have about yourself. For example, think about what you value, what your interests are, where your natural talents and abilities lie. Then consider the information you have about the career (e.g. what you have learned from the hands on experiences, from networking, from reading about a career). Finally, compare how your values and the career information you've obtained match up.

Risk is involved in all decisions. You can never be 100 percent sure about a decision, but you can determine how much risk you are willing to tolerate. Learn as much as you can about your desired career. Talk to people in the field. This will help you assess your risk.

Tips for Effective Career Decision Making

  • Expect to make several career decisions (changing careers or moving into new positions) over the course of your career. Chances are you will change careers or move into new positions over time.
  • Consider taking the class, Career Choice (IDS 106), to explore career decisions in a group setting. It’s a great way to get ideas and to learn from your peers.
  • Remember there is no "perfect answer" to career choice. Identifying the both positives and negatives will help you decide wisely.
  • A good decision should reflect your values. If you ignore these you may feel unsatisfied in your career.
  • For critical information seek out more than one source. Don’t rule something out that you really want based on one person's comment or one article you read.
  • Ask yourself, "How might I accomplish my goal, given where I am at right now?" The path to your goal may be unconventional, but most people don’t have one straight line to their ideal career. Explore your options and be willing to shift gears if you discover some important information.
  • Talk with a counselor if you need some help identifying your interests, values, or skills, or need some assistance sorting through aspects that are confusing.
  • Protect yourself by having a back-up plan.

Re-evaluating Career Decisions

Just like you wouldn’t buy one outfit and expect it to be fashionable for the rest of your life, a career decision you make should be re-evaluated periodically. As your interests and values change over time it is important to re-evaluate your career decisions.

If you feel unhappy with a decision soon after making it, you may have overlooked some key factor. A counselor may help you sort through the confusion. Re-evaluating decisions is a common activity in career planning. It can be a fun opportunity if viewed as a chance to make new decisions or change plans in a manner that is more satisfying to you.

Beginning a Job Search

  • Review jobs available on e-recruiting, on-line career sites, trade journals, local papers, and through professional networking.
  • Prepare a resume and develop some basic interviewing skills to assist you in finding a paid or volunteer position. Illinois State students can get assistance with resume writing and receive training in interviewing skills at the Career Center (SSB 185).
  • Attend job fairs to meet employers and learn more about available positions. Several job fairs are offered on campus throughout the year. Visit the Career Center online or in Student Services Building (SSB) 185, for schedule information.
  • Gather people to write strong letters of recommendation for you when you apply for positions. Assist your letter writer by offering him or her a copy of the job description, a summary of points that might be relevant for the letter they are writing, and a copy of your resume. These steps can help ensure your recommendation letters are strong.
  • Sign-up for on-campus interviews using e-recruiting from the Career Center (SSB 185).
  • Review employer information on the Internet. Visit Web sites related to career fields. Illinois State students can find useful information as well as many relevant sites on the Internet job-hunting Web page developed by the Milner Library staff.


2018-01-30T10:31:51.457-06:00 2018