Career Decision Making Are you in the process of exploring career options and uncertain how to proceed? Are you making a career transition after many years in a profession? Or are you in the middle of your sophomore year in college and trying to decide which major fits you? If so, welcome to Regis University Career Services’ Career Decision Making Workshop. It was designed to help you understand career exploration and the career decision making process. The topics that will be covered in this workshop are as follows: Personality types Interests Core values Career related values Work environments Skills and abilities Your Career Profile Career research on the web Career research in libraries Informational Interviewing Internships, Shadowing, Volunteering Decision Making Styles 'Planful’ Decision Making The Seven Step Process Decision Making based on the MBTI Barriers to Career Decision Making Career Exploration Questions As you participate in this workshop, keep a list of careers that appeal to you. Later you will be asked to narrow this list down to 4 or 5 careers which you will then research thoroughly. PERSONAL ASSESSMENT In their book, Do What You Are, Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger state: The secret of true career satisfaction lies in doing what you enjoy most...The right job enhances your life and is personally fulfilling because it nourishes the most important aspects of your personality...It lets you use your innate strengths in ways that come naturally to you... The first step, then, in career exploration is self-assessment - to know yourself! Before you can even begin to investigate career options, it is important to answer the following questions: What is your personality type? What are you good at? (your natural strengths) What are your weaknesses? What are your interests? What is most important to you? (your values) What kinds of work environments do your want to work in? What can you do well? What are your skills and abilities? your transferable skills? Personality Types One of the most systematic, effective ways of determining your personality type, strengths and weaknesses, communication styles, and work preferences is to complete the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (the MBTI). This assessment measures personality by measuring how you gain energy, how you gather information, how you make decisions, and your organizational approach to life. The MBTI can be taken online through Skillsone, a website produced by Consulting Psychologist Press in Palo Alto, California. Any Regis student or alum can make arrangements to do this assessment by contacting Career Services at Regis University at Career Services or by calling 303.458.3508. Keirsey Temperament website is an online personality assessment based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Interests There are interest inventories that will help you clarify, validate, and prioritize your interests. The Strong Interest Inventory is one of the most widely used and researched indicators of occupational interest available today and it can help you identify characteristics about yourself related to your career interests. It also compares your interests to the interests of people who are happily employed in over 200 occupations. Regis students and alumni can a make arrangements to take The Strong Interest Inventory online through Consulting Psychologist Press by contacting Career Services at Regis or by calling 303.458.3508. Realistic Artistic Investigative Social Enterprising Conventional Each page includes a list of questions about things the user can do and likes to do - and links are also provided to further information. Core Values, Career-Related Values and Work Environments In her book entitled Coming Alive from Nine to Five, Betty Neville Michelozzi says: Career search involves more than simply figuring out what job might suit you best. This is the short-range view. Your perspective expands when you ask yourself what you want that job to do for you. Once you ask this question, you may very quickly find yourself face to face with some of your deepest values. Do you want power, prestige, profit? Peace, harmony, love? Are some values incompatible with others? A ‘value’ is something that a person gives worth or merit to – a principle, an ideal, a standard. Values are really the ‘bottom line’ when an important decision needs to be made. They permeate our entire lives and are incorporated into our philosophy of life. Having a clear sense of your values is one of the best ways of knowing whether you will enjoy a career or not. Studies show that successful, satisfied employees are almost always involved in careers in which their values are respected and reinforced … When values aren’t respected, burnout occurs often very quickly. First we will talk about core values and then we will consider career-related values and work environments – all of which have an important bearing on career exploration and choice. Because people tend to be happy in their jobs if their values are respected, it is important to give a considerable amount of time and consideration to these lists of values, career-related values and work environments. Think about what they mean to you and how they apply – or don’t apply - to careers you are exploring. Core values tend to serve as guiding principles in our lives. All parts of your life reflect your values – your family, education, friends, religion, political stance and, of course, your career choice. Following is a list of some ‘personal or core values’ which you might want to consider: Honesty Personal growth Equality Happiness Self-respect Integrity Love Wisdom Peace Relationship with a higher being Universal opportunity Spiritual strength Inner peace Beauty Respect for others Freedom Security Friendship Harmony Success Courage Ambition Helpfulness Independence ***If you make career decisions that are consistent with your Core Values, you are more likely to find a higher level of personal fulfillment and job satisfaction. Career Related Values: The following ‘Values Scale’* which was developed by Donald Super and Dorothy Neville measures 21 values that individuals seek or hope to find in their careers: Ability Utilization Physical Activity Prestige Achievement Risk Advancement Social Interaction Aesthetics Social Relations Altruism Variety Authority Working Conditions Creativity Cultural Identity Economic Rewards Life Style Power Integrity Relevance Economic Security Personal Development *adapted from The Values Scale: Theory, Application, and Research by Donald Super and Dorothy Neville (Consulting Psychologist Press, Palo Alto, CA; 1989.) Work Environments: Consider which of these work environments are desirable to you. Then go back over the list and check those that are crucial to your job/life satisfaction. Geographic location: Metropolitan area, suburban area, small town, rural environment? In which area of the country would you prefer to live? International location? Work setting: Large, medium, or small organization/corporation For-profit or non-profit organization Government organization At home Extensive travel Varied locations because of travel Indoors or outdoors Office décor/physical work environment Cultural environment: Flexible and casual Structured A work environment where diversity is valued Personal growth and development programs Work schedule: Full time, part time, flex time, 8 – 5, Monday – Friday only, evening and weekends, seasonal, over-time expectations, academic schedule, job sharing. Dress: Professional Casual Uniform Travel requirements Benefits: Number of vacation days annually Paid vacations/holidays/sick leave Health Insurance Retirement/ savings plans Tuition reimbursement plan Leave without pay Profit sharing Compensation: Annual salary Commission One way of clarifying your life values, career related values, and work environments is to do a career values exercise by dividing a sheet of paper into four columns and then entering your values, career values, and preferred work environments: VERY IMPORTANT IMPORTANT OCCASIONALLY IMPORTANT OF LITTLE OR NO IMPORTANCE Skills and Abilities The dictionary defines skill as ‘an ability to do something well.’ Skills are what you use to get something done or to accomplish a goal. It is important to identify skills when considering career options. They can be classified into three major categories; adaptive, content and functional skills. Adaptive skills These are characteristics that enable one to relate to the environment. And they play a key role in work effectiveness, performance and job satisfaction. Examples of adaptive skills are confidence, patience, assertiveness, flexibility, enthusiasm, initiative, versatility, and cooperation. Content Skills Content skills are usually acquired through work experiences or education. Examples are: the ability to operate a computer, proficiency in a language, the ability to use machinery and tools effectively and safely or to play the piano well. You can identify your content skills by remembering specific tasks that you performed in a job – as well as tasks you have mastered though your education. Functional Skills Functional Skills deal with processes rather than performance of a task. They are more difficult to recognize but this group of skills makes up a large percentage of any job. Data Skills allow one to process information in the form of words, numbers, ideas and symbols, They include any form of analyzing, comparing, collecting, sending and receiving information. People Skills are those used when relating to others. Supervising, motivating, leading and teaching are all examples. Thing Skills refer to the physical manipulation of tangible object such as tools, machinery, and equipment. Handling, moving, lifting and filing fit into this category of skills. Lists of data, people and thing skills can be found in The Career Discovery Project by Gerald M. Sturman, Doubleday, New York, 1993. In order to have an idea of your transferable skills, make a list of your previous and present jobs, describe the job duties and responsibilities involved, and then list the skills that you used. It is important for you to be aware of the skills that you are motivated to use. Generally motivation comes from enjoyment and effectiveness in using your skills. Your Career Profile: Putting It All Together (Print this out and then fill out each section.) 1. List your personality characteristics (from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). 2. List your interests (from the Strong Interest Inventory). 3. List the core values and career-related values most important to you. 4. List your preferred work environments. 5. List your preferred skills. 6. Summary of your key experiences and accomplishments. If you would like to talk with a career counselor, you can make an appointment for career counseling by contacting Regis Career Services or at 303.458.5468. RESEARCH, EXPLORATION AND INVESTIGATION OF CAREER OPTIONS The second step in the career exploration and planning process is to narrow your list of careers options to 4 – 5 and then research and investigate those career fields in depth. One of the most difficult tasks in career planning is doing the basic research required in order to know what a particular career field involves. This can be done by …doing research on the web, in career libraries and resource centers, and through computerized career programs; …talking with people who work in a particular field in which you have an interest; ... experiencing a career field through internships, volunteer work, job shadowing, or by working part-time or doing contract work. When researching various career options, you will want to gather information such as: nature of the work job duties and responsibilities salary benefits education, training or experience needed to move into a particular field working conditions employment outlook products of services opportunities for advancement within the field employment location (where jobs are available in the field) …and most importantly…how a particular career satisfies your needs and values. Career information should be less than three years old. Career Research on the Web By going to the Regis University Career Services website you will find information which will be useful to you while exploring and researching career options including the Career Planning Guide. There are also numerous other websites where you can gather information on careers. Database searches, frequently without charge, are available on many websites and many of these assist individuals with career exploration. Some examples of these are listed below: O*Net Online, the Occupational Information Network, is a database of continually updated occupational information and labor market research associated with over 950 occupational titles. The O*NET database, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, gives job descriptions, working conditions, educational requirements, salaries and expected growth for thousands of job titles. Occupational Outlook Handbook is an online version of the printed anuual report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor. It includes lengthy and comprehensive descriptions of 270 occupations (representing 88% of jobs in the United States) and summary data about an additional 116 occupations. There are several ways of researching this database. America’s Career Infonet This service, which is sponsored by the U.S. Employment and Training Administration, provides information on hundreds of occupations. MonsterTRAK Information on career exploration, company profiles, job search strategies, and job and resume postings. (password: regis) USAJobs has information on positions within the Federal Government. Job Web – (NACE) America’s Job Bank U.S. Dept. of Labor Site: Occupational information can be found by clicking on ‘Career Resource Library’. You can browse the index, use keywords, or search for occupations that use particular skills. Peterson’s Graduate and Professional Programs About.Com On this site your will find a large number and variety of links to career and job search-related articles. The ‘Career Planning/Job Searching Channel’ has 12 subject-specific guides that cover an array of career and job search topics. The Smart Woman’s Online Career Resources The emphasis on this site is on women who wish to make a career transition. However, this website offers a variety of resources useful to any individual seeking information about careers. Issues related to career exploration and transitions, as well as those in the workplace are discussed. The Career Resource Center A directory of Career Directories on the Internet. The Job Hunter’s Bible (What Color is Your Parachute?) Career Research in Libraries and Career Resource Centers The Career Services Library and Dayton Memorial Library at Regis University have books, periodicals and other types of information available to students doing career exploration. Some of the titles and series which can be found in the Regis Career Services Library are as follows: Books The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) The Occupational Outlook Handout (OOH) What Color is Your Parachute Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes Do What You Are Careers in…..series Great Careers for….series Careers for….series Career Opportunities in….series Great Jobs for….series College Majors and Careers Periodicals, publications, magazines Liberal Arts Career News CAM Report Employment Outlook for Colorado NACE Salary Survey National Minority Update Career Opportunities News Colorado Close-Up Occupational Outlook Quarterly Equal Opportunity Careers and the Disabled Job Choices Printed Information Linking Majors to Careers – A series of handouts which gives information on careers related to Regis majors. Regis Career Services Planning Guide Match Your Values to Your Employer’s Stumbling Blocks to Career Planning Managing Your Career Informational Interviewing One of the best ways to gather information about a career that you are interested in is to conduct an informational interview with someone who does that kind of work. Informational interviews are very useful because people who are actually working in the career can provide a more complete picture of the occupation than most literature describing a particular career. Informational interviewing isn’t networking – but rather an information-gathering tool which can be extremely useful while doing career exploration. People who do the kind of work you are considering on a day-to-day basis can tell you the joys and the frustrations of their careers and this information can be essential to your decision making process when deciding on a career. Questions to ask during an Informational Interview: What are the duties, responsibilities, and the activities of your job? What do you do on a typical day? How did you get to your present position? What kind of education, training, experience is needed? Which special skills are needed? What is the employment outlook for this occupation? What is the average salary for this field? What challenges do you face in your work? What changes are taking place in this field? What do you like best about your work? What are employers in your field looking for in potential employees? What training and experience do you recommend? Is this field growing? Who else would you recommend that I talk to? May I use your name when I call him/her? After the interview, be sure and write a thank you note. Mention what you talked about, what you learned during the interview, and what follow up action you have taken. Alumni Career Network: Contact information with Regis alumni who have agreed to talk with students investigating career fields is available on the Alumni Career Network. To get information on this program email Regis Career Services or call (303) 458-3508. Internships, Job Shadowing, Volunteer Work Internships give students the opportunity to combine coursework with working experience, often while earning academic credit. They enhance academic knowledge, personal development and professional preparation by giving students a hands-on experience. A successful internship can give students an edge when hiring decisions are being made because employers seek applicants with practical experience in their field. To inquire into doing an Internship, Regis College students should call Lynne Montrose at (303) 458-1809 and CPS students should call Cyndy Redifer at (303) 458-3528 or 1800-388-2366 x3528. Job Shadowing enables students to go into an actual work setting to see first hand what is involved in the work. By watching the day-to-day job duties performed, you can see whether this is the type of work you would like to do. Job Shadowing is typically done on a one-day basis. If you are interested in this option, email Career Services or call (303) 458-3508. Volunteer work is another excellent way of getting practical, hands-on experience in the work place. Many organizations, especially in the non-profit field, often rely on volunteers. MAKING YOUR DECISION After exploring career options and doing an honest assessment of your personality, strengths, interests, skills, abilities, and, most importantly, your values and needs, it is time to evaluate and narrow your options and make some decisions regarding your career direction. At this point, some people will have a good idea of what they want to do, while others will still need more time…Wherever you are in the process, realize that it is ‘okay’. Remember that making a major decision is a difficult and complex process that often requires considerable time and energy… so take the time that you need to process your decision thoroughly and effectively. The amount of time needed to do this will vary from individual to individual - Some people can move through this process quickly while others have a need to participate in a process that goes through a number of stages, takes time, and requires much thought and reflection. It is very important to recognize at this point that a career that would give one person considerable satisfaction might not be right for another person. There is a great deal of information on the career decision making process and many models that could help you work your way through this process: Some of this information and several of the models are listed below: Decision Making Styles Planful Decision Making The Seven Step Process by John Arnold Decision Making based on the Myers Briggs Type Inventory List of Career Exploration Questions Decision Making Styles How do you make a decision? Most people use a combination of decision making styles and some styles are more practical than others. The following list includes some decision making styles...Read through the list and determine if any describe styles which you might use when making a decision. Impulsive - Spends little time considering alternatives; makes a decision at the last moment; dislikes making decisions; usually takes the first alternative available. Intuitive - Bases a decision on gut feelings which have not been verbalized - 'It feels right'. 'What Do You Think? style' - Makes a decision based on the wishes of another person and goes along with the ideas or plans of someone else rather than making an independent decision. A person using this type generally doesn't trust his/her ability to make a decision. Agonizing - Involves much time and thought in gathering data and analyzing alternatives. The decision maker often gets lost in a pile of information and has trouble getting to the decision point. Delaying - Postpones thought and action on a problem until later. 'I'll think about it tomorrow.' Fatalistic - Leaves the decision to fate or the environment. 'What will be, will be...' Paralytic - Accepts the responsibility for making a decision, but then is unable to set the process in motion to make a decision. 'I know I should, but I just can't make this decision.' Planful - Bases a decision on a rational approach with balance between the cognitive and the emotional. People who use this style of decision obtain relevant information and clarify objectives before making decisions. They evaluate the cause and effect of their decisions before choosing and they usually choose something that seems comfortable and secure. Planful Decision Making The following is an 8-step process for ‘planful’ decision-making: Identify decision to be made. Gather information and examine the information that you have already gathered. Look for other alternatives; explore different courses of action; brainstorm; push back the boundaries! Assess the consequences for each alternative that you have examined. Sometimes you might want to put it aside and 'sleep on it'. List the advantages and disadvantages. Check your motives. And finally, review the decision to be made, the alternatives, and the consequences for each, and, when you feel comfortable, make the decision. Implement the decision. Dare to risk! Every undertaking has its uncertainties and no one can predict the future. Evaluate the decision that you have made, the results, the outcome, and how it will affect your future. Look for feedback. Set long-term and short-term goals to make this decision become a reality. The Seven Step Process A somewhat different and very effective approach to decision making is the "Seven Step Process" by John A. Arnold. Smoke Out the Issues – Why is a decision necessary? What are the consequences of doing nothing? Answering these questions will tell you whether a decision is really called for and, if so, why. State Your Purpose – What needs to be determined: What do you want to decide? Don’t be satisfied with your first answers to these questions. Keep asking why util you have established your basic Statement of Purpose. It might be helpful to distinguish what the problem is from what it is not. Set Your Criteria - What do you want to achieve, preserve and avoid by whatever decision you make? Establish Your Priorities – What are the criteria that any solution absolutely has to satisfy? What other criteria should it meet? Search For Solutions – How can you meet the criteria you have set? List all possible courses of action open to you and gather any information that may be helpful in making a final selection. Test the Alternatives – How does each alternative stack up against the priorities? Does one emerge as a clear winner? Troubleshoot Your Decision – What could go wrong? How can your choice be improved? Create refinements that prevent, overcome, or minimize the dangers of the alternative you select. (*adapted from Make Up Your Mind! by John A. Arnold) Decision-Making Based on the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Inventory) Decision-Making questions using your MBTI type: To include Sensing, ask: What has past experience shown me? What can be verified? What is observable? What is going on right now? To include Intuition, ask: How do the facts relate? What interpretations can be made? What patterns do I see? What are the possibilities? To include Thinking, ask: What are the logical consequences of my decision? What are the pros, cons, alternatives? What will be most effective? Which goals are being served by my decision? To include Feeling, ask: How does this decision affect other people’s feelings? Values and needs being met by this decision? How important is this decision to me? What exceptions need to be made? Based on MBTI Team Building Program: Leader’s Resource Guide by Sandra Krebs Hirsh, 1992, Consulting Psychologist Press, Inc. Barriers to Career Decision Making Now that you have evaluated your decision making style, it is important to consider some of the barriers or stumbling blocks which are commonly found when an individual is exploring career options. Many individuals suffer from barriers that prevent them from moving ahead with their career planning process. Identifying these barriers is the first step to either acceptance or working through them. Conflicts of Conscience Feeling conflict over the many roles in your life: parenting and career roles; relationship and professional roles. Feeling guilt over role responsibilities; childcare, household responsibilities, community responsibilities. Need to Conform to Society’s or another Person’s View of What is Right Refusing to recognize one’s uniqueness. Lack of a Support System Inability to identify those people who could ease your responsibilities; not allowing others to help. Lack of Goals No long range planning; inability to set goals. Time Management Difficulties Lack of Information Lack of accurate information; not knowing where or how to find information or get answers; spinning wheels. Stress Ineffective ways of dealing with stress. Fear Fear of making a mistake; fear of choosing the wrong career; fear of failure or appearing foolish; fear of succeeding; fear of not making enough money; fear of change; fear of rejection; fear of running out of time. Procrastination Putting things off to the last minute and then feeling pressure; this is tied in with fear and lack of time management. Myths about Career Planning ‘It is easy.’ ‘I only have to decide once.’ ‘I should have decided a long time ago.’ ‘There is a perfect career for me.’ Old Messages ‘Everyone has old messages from parents, friends, and teachers that still play in their head. Some are positive and others are negative. Some people learn to ignore negative messages by putting positive experiences in their place. Others find they need the help of a counselor or a career counselor to deal with them. Whatever you need to do to let these old messages go, do so, because they stand as one of the biggest barriers to success.’ Diana Hart, Arapahoe Community College Career Exploration Questions (Print a copy of the following for each career option you are considering.) Career Option:_____________________________________________________________ Main responsibilities? Training required to move into this career? Working conditions? Starting salary? (Note the year that salary figures were collected.) Salary of a person with experience in this field? Related career areas? Employment outlook? How to get additional information about this career? Numerical Weighting Decision Grid This method works well for people who find it helpful to quantify the factors considered in decision making alternative. A. Rate each factor by alternative with a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = low, 5 = High). B. Total the numbers from each vertical column to weigh your alternatives. C. Some factors may be more important than others, requiring a multiplication function with that factor. For example, if Job Security is 50% more important than the other factors, multiply the base rating times 1.5. The following chart is a sample grid. Alternatives X Factors Teacher Social Worker Counselor Independence 3 3 4 Creativity 4 2 3 Job security x 1.5 (5) 6.5 (3) 4.5 (3) 4.5 Leadership 5 4 2 Flexibility 1 5 3 totals 19.5 18.5 16.5 The next grid can be selected and printed for your use in weighing your alternatives by the factors most important to you. Alternative X Factor Alternative Alternative Alternative Factor Rating Rating Rating Factor Rating Rating Rating Factor Rating Rating Rating Factor Rating Rating Rating Factor Rating Rating Rating Factor Rating Rating Rating Factor Rating Rating Rating Total Total Total Total Implementing Your Decision After making a career decision you will need to take steps to implement your decision. This will involve making choices regarding education and training. Once you have made a decision, developing a career action plan and goal-setting can be a powerful ways to motivate you to take the action necessary to implement your decision. It may be necessary to have a short-term plan while you are preparing for your long-term career. If you would like to make an appointment with a career counselor at any of the Regis University campuses, contact us by email or by phone at 303.458.5468 or 800.388.2366 x3508. Thank you for participating in our online Career Decision Making Workshop. We hope it has provided you with ideas and information which will help you with your career decision making process. Please take the time to fill out the evaluation form for this online workshop. If you have any questions or comments regarding this online workshop, please contact Career Services.