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Plan Your Career

Making Decisions

That doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind if your choice doesn’t work out or if a better option comes along. 

When you pick one thing, it doesn’t mean you have to give the other things up entirely. It could be a matter of timing, and you could choose other things at a later date. You can also take the pressure off your decision-making by making one choice and delaying another.

  • Most decisions are quite small. For example, if you’re not already a surgeon, you can’t make a big decision and decide to be one right now. What you can decide is to:
  • Research what being a surgeon is like.
  • Take courses that will get you ready for medical school.
  • Apply yourself in those courses.

Each of these decisions is relatively small and manageable.

Decision-Making Methods to Try

There is no 100% guaranteed method for making the right decisions. But here are 2 methods you can try:

Dot-to-Dot Decision-Making

This linear approach is useful when making straight-ahead choices like which program to take or which apartment to rent. This method will help you make a decision based on logic. It also gives you steps to follow when you need to make a more complex decision but don’t know where to start:

  1. Define the problem.
  2. Brainstorm alternatives.
  3. Research—gather information.
  4. Process the information.
    • List the pros and cons.
    • Choose the option with the fewest cons and the most pros.
  5. Act on your choice.
  6. Evaluate your choice.

“Feels Right” Decision-Making

Another way to make a decision is based on “gut feel”—what feels right.

Take your time and support the process:

  • Do some research around the decision.
  • Shadow someone who has chosen one of the outcomes you’re considering or has made a similar decision.
  • Try on your decision. Live for a day as if you had made your choice. See how you feel.
  • Talk it over with your supporters at work, school, in your family, and at the activities you're involved in - your very own board of directors.


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