It is likely that many of you encounter difficulties in career decision-making. This is understandable as it is a complex process requiring you to process information about yourself and about the world of work.
Decisions are based on a wide range of factors which are not easily comparable, therefore it can be difficult to make confident choices. As I. Gati stated in Making career decisions: A conceptual frame of reference for counselling; “difficulties could arise if you do not possess relevant information, have conflicting information, or do not know how to process the information”. I will discuss a few common decision-making difficulties below.
1. Lack of information about yourself
Many of you will not have an in-depth understanding of your skills, interests, motivation and values; factors that play an important role in career decision-making. For example, for young people who have less life experience, the schematic picture they have of themselves is not enough to allow them to feel confident about making a career decision.
2. Lack of information about available options
You may know what positions are not suitable for you, but are not quite sure about the options that are available to you.
3. Inconsistent information due to internal conflicts
Sometimes you experience internal contradictions as there is a difference between what you have in your mind and what you feel in your heart. For example, your mind tells you to go for the IT job, but in your heart you want to train people.
4. Inconsistent information due to external conflicts
The people who are closest to you will often have an impact on your career decisions, and vice versa. For instance, my cousin has always been passionate about computers and wanted to pursue a career in IT, but felt pressure from his mother to study dentistry. At present he is still studying but won’t work in this field.
5. Lack of motivation
You might need to make a career decision at a time that is not of your choosing. For example, when you finish school or university, or when your fixed-term contract comes to an end. You are aware that you need to make a decision, but you might not feel very enthusiastic about the change.
If you do experience these difficulties in career decision-making, it would be helpful for you to get in touch with a career coach who can help you to boost your intrinsic motivation to change; understand yourself better; asses your skills and values; and help you to deal with your internal conflicts.