Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Using Your Decision-Making Style To Improve Your Career Planning

When you make career decisions - whether it's a career change or choosing a college major or training program, it helps to know what kind of decision-maker you are. Some decision-making styles are more productive and effective than others, like being "planful" or "intuitive."  Others, like "delaying" or "paralytic", are obviously less helpful and lead to career indecision. Young people may be more "compliant" in their decision-making, following blindly what peers or parents tell them to do instead of focusing on their unique qualities and career interests.

The more self-aware you are, the better prepared you are for changing styles if you need to, moving through inevitable roadblocks. You'll find that these decision-making styles apply to other life decisions so knowing yours can help you in non-career related areas too.

In general, there are eight decision-making types:
  1. Planful
  2. Painful
  3. Intuitive
  4. Impulsive
  5. Compliant
  6. Delaying
  7. Fatalistic
  8. Paralytic
(Dinklage, L.B., 1968)  Rutgers University Career Services' career decision web article has excellent descriptions of each type.

To complicate things, you may change styles in the decision-making process. You may start out as "planful" but end up in a more "paralytic" state because of a loved one's unexpected negative reaction to a career choice.

Anticipating and planning for challenges are part of why it's important to follow the Decision Balance (ACIP) method of career decision making. And putting the whole process in context of what you know about your decision-making style(s) can really improve the outcomes of your career planning.

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