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How To Make The Best Decision For You

17th Feb 2021

Decisions, decisions! Our lives are full of them, from the small and mundane, such as what to wear or eat, to tougher decisions, such as where to study a course or which career route to pursue. Every day, whether we like it or not, we have to make choices for our future. If you are finding it tricky making decisions when it comes to your options and career choices, then take a read of our 6 tips to help you make the best decision for you.

  1. Think about You!

The first step is to think about you! What do you enjoy doing? What are your strengths? This could be things like subjects or training you have completed, skills you've taught yourself, or extracurricular activities you are involved with. It can also be helpful to reflect on any experience you have had, including employment, volunteering placements, or work experience. It's important to consider what is important to you in a job and any goals you have in your life. If you are having trouble thinking about what makes you tick, you could try an online self-assessment tool such as The Buzz Quiz (for young people), Prospects (for graduates), or The National Careers Service Skills Assessment (for adults).

  1. Research

Researching your options or career ideas is a great way to help you make informed choices. There are lots of great websites where you can research careers and education options. If you have a specific career idea in mind then find out about the entry requirements, skills required and responsibilities of the job. Also researching local Labour Market Information (LMI) can be a helpful way to find out what industries are in your local area and the demand for different jobs. Useful websites include National Careers Service, Career Pilot and Prospects. Dorset Local Enterprise also has a list of the top industries available to find work in across Dorset.

  1. Gain Experience

Gaining experience allows you to try out different jobs and tasks. This can be through paid work or unpaid work experience or volunteering. You could ask local companies if you can gain some experience or a shadow day or contact your local volunteering centre. If you cannot get ‘real life’ experience right now, then look into any virtual work experience options or online courses. Such as through our Inspiring Futures project, Barclays Life Skills, The Forage, or Future Learn free online courses.

  1. Talk to People

If you are unsure whether to study a particular subject at college, sixth form or university, then find out more about the subjects you are considering. Talk to tutors or teachers about the subject and attend open evenings. Find out about the content of the course, assessment styles and where the course could lead. Talk to your parents/carers, teachers and Careers Adviser about what you are considering. If you have an interest in a certain job, then try and speak to employers or anyone else you know who is doing that job to find out more about it.

  1. Use Creative Techniques   

If you are still unsure about what decision to make, you could try some creative activities to help you decide. For example, make a list of the ideas you have, or draw a mind map. You could also rank your ideas in the order of the one that interests you most, or you could write a pros and cons list of each idea you are considering. Another technique is to write each option on a piece of paper, fold them up and put them in a hat or bowl. Shut your eyes and pick one. If you had to do that option you picked out, how does that make you feel? Do you feel happy that you picked that choice, or do you feel disappointed?

  1. Build a Growth Mindset

Sometimes the fear of making a 'wrong' decision can overwhelm people. But by developing a growth mindset, it can help you to see 'wrong' or 'failed' decisions as a springboard to success, rather than a loss. Ways to develop a growth mindset are to seek out new challenges, embrace change, and become a lifelong learner. If you are someone who is worried about making a 'wrong' or 'right' decision, learning to make plans whilst also being ok with grasping opportunities that come your way can really benefit your personal and career growth.

If you’d like support in figuring out your options, looking into new training or employment opportunities, or gaining virtual or in-person work experience placements to help you see the realities of a certain career before you make any big decisions, then please don't hesitate to contact us.