Take our mini course
Our mini course in career decision making gives you skills, insight and motivation to make great choices.
But what if you need to make a choice and don't have time to take a whole course?
Here are quick activities to try (starting with the simplest and getting more complex):
Decide what you need to decide
Sometimes decisions are hard because we link them with lots of other decisions. Clarify and simplify: what's the decision you're trying to make right now? Write it down, with the simplest list of options that you can.
Pros and cons
Make a simple pros and cons list of your options. Which is longer - the pros or the cons? Which did you want to be longer? What do you think this tells you about what you want to do?
Score your options
Make a list of options. Give each option a score out of 10 for how much you'd enjoy it, and another score out of 10 for how do-able you think it is. Add them together to give a total out of 20. What option has the highest combined score?
Choosing a degree
If you're choosing a degree, check out Brightside's advice on How do I choose the right degree?
Choosing when you don't have all the information
Sometimes you have to make a decision before you have all the information. So what can you do? If it’s possible to find out the missing information, great. But if you can’t?
Make a list of your decision-making criteria. This is going to be personal to you. How much of your list makes something a 'good enough' option (70%? 80%?). Are there any deal-breakers (criteria in your list that are non-optional)? How does the opportunity that’s available right now stack up? What % of your criteria list does it give you? As a result, is it 'good enough' to say yes to with confidence? Decide based on what it's possible to know; that’s all anyone can do!
Two against one
Two Against One generates scales you can use to assess a career idea and help you make choices. It particularly suits the more scientifically-minded!
Even more about decision-making
For more ideas see the Oxford University Careers Service pages on How to make a career decision. Their summary includes the Forcefield Analysis, D.E.C.I.D.E.S model and Visualisation techniques. It's designed for Oxford students but open access for everyone.