Most people spend much more time deciding which car to buy than choosing a career. Why do they spend so little time on such an important task? Because career decision-making is hard work!
Perhaps people avoid thinking about this decision for other reasons. They might feel that the start of their career is far in the future. Maybe they have bypassed the process and are pursuing a career that fulfils family expectations. Perhaps they assume that they will be happy working in a well-known field like teaching, engineering, or medicine and see no reason to research other possible occupations. Or perhaps they just don’t know how the decision-making process works or where to begin.
Delay in the decision-making process and you may find yourself:
- In a career that doesn’t fit with your values, interests, personal attributes, and skills
- Completing a degree that you have no interest in
- Feeling your work lacks meaning or challenge
- Suffering from boredom or burnout
- Feeling caught between life and work values
Thoughtful decision-making paves the way to a satisfying career choice. The more focused you are, the less onerous the process will be. The decision-making process can be used for making many types of career-related choices, including:
- Which training/educational program to pursue
- Which occupational field to enter
- Which paid/volunteer experience would be most satisfying
- Whether to change occupations and/or fields
- Whether to start a small business
The five steps to career decision-making are:
- Create a vision
- Make an initial decision
- Set a goal
- Develop an action plan
- Take action
Career decision-making can be complicated and overwhelming for both students and advisors.
The problem of choosing, preparing and entering into careers have existed since the dawn of Civilization. The process of vocational development denoting psychological, sociological, cultural and economic ingredients across time results in outcomes which are effective in vocational behaviour, decision-making ability and vocational maturity. Just as physical and intellectual development can be stunted, if appropriate interventions are not applied, similarly the normal developmental process of vocational development can be stunted, if appropriate interventions are not available in planned and systematic manner.
There are specific skills that should be constructed and maintained throughout the life span in order to deal with career choice and management tasks at any given point in time. A set of skills need to be developed include: knowledge of self-attributes (e.g., interests, skills/abilities, and work-related values), a well-defined self-concept, broad knowledge of the world of work, detailed knowledge and reality testing of occupations under consideration, awareness of the need to plan ahead, decision-making skill, knowledge and use of appropriate resources for career decision making. This set of skills, indicative of career maturity is used in making career choices in this changeable 21st century work environment.
Career maturity refers to a person’s ability to make career decisions that reflect decisiveness, self-reliance, independence, and willingness to compromise between personal needs and the requirements of one’s career situation. Moreover, it is not uncommon to find that students choose subjects of study, which have little relationship with their vocational goals, with the result, that many people get a traumatic shock when they find that they have not prepared themselves for the career, which they wanted to enter. Often the mistake is realized too late in life.
An organized programme of Career guidance assists students in taking decisions wisely and realistically. Career Guidance may be seen as a process of helping a person to develop and accept an integrated and adequate picture of himself, and of his role in the world of work to test this concept against reality and to convert it into a reality with satisfaction to him and benefit to society.
There are three key requirements of career deciders: self-knowledge, knowledge of work opportunities and conditions, and the ability to combine rationally the two sets of information.
Career Decision Making System (CDM) is an assessment tool by Harrington & O’Shea (revised 2000) based on Holland’s (1983) theory of vocational development, which proposes career interest in concurrence with the personality types of an individual. CDM is an online assessment tool that helps students match their values, interest and abilities with the potential career choices.
CDM has been successfully used by millions of students, individual job seekers and jobholders undergoing a transition to consider career choices and shifting options. The Career Decision Making System (CDM) help students to choose education streams suited to their career choices.
CDM is being offered by Pearson Clinical & Talent Assessment (PCTA)’s training division, Pearson Academy India (PAI) and is a combination of assessment with CDM followed by post-assessment counseling with the student.
The world is now a global village, with global occupations coming to India and Indians increasingly working outside the country in professions not known to previous generations. CDM lets students align their career aspirations to such global occupations. CDM, unlike conventional career guidance tools that tend to offer guidance based on measurement of ability and aptitude, CDM lets students self-assess their interests, abilities and work values, to offer career interest areas students can use to guide their career decision. Choosing careers or further education linked to students’ interests, abilities and values leads to more satisfaction throughout their career.
Using CDM at school can help students look beyond the Engineer-Doctor continuum, and at careers they really want to pursue, are able to pursue and that align to their future work values. CDM opens students’ worlds to endless career opportunities they didn’t even know existed.
CDM is built to help students and career changers
- Identify occupational interests
- Match interests to career options
- Focus on opportunities that match abilities and work values
CDM is a quick online test that can be completed in less than 30 minutes!
We are pleased to announce that Mindfirst is Pearson Academy India’s Authorized Training Centre in, Punjab. Mindfirst provides coaching, counselling and therapy services to promote psychological health and well being of children, adolescents and adults. Mindfirst will offer career-counselling services to students across Punjab, using CDM. Each assessment with CDM is followed by a comprehensive counselling session by a Pearson trained counsellor, so that the student is able to clearly understand the test report and is aided in making an appropriate career decision. Students will be able to take CDM online at the Mindfirst centre. Mindfirst will also provide schools with the option of administering the CDM on the school premise, with the post assessment counselling at the school or at the Mindfirst centre.