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4.2 Career decision-making style

An informed decision and an intuitive decision are two general decision-making styles, however when considering your career specifically Bimrose and Barnes (2008, pp. 33-54) define four career decision making styles that you might adopt. Higgins (2013) summarises the key characteristics of each below.

Evaluative careerists

  • Are comfortable reflecting on their own needs, values and abilities and working out what sort of work is going to fulfil them.
  • Take into account practical considerations, such as money, but balance them against less tangible considerations.

Strategic careerists

  • Take a much more rational decision-making approach to their careers – laying out options, weighing them up and then implementing plans to achieve their goals.
  • Focus on matching (e.g. skills and experience with job requirements) and benefits when career planning rather than emotion or wider needs.

Aspirational careerists

  • Have a very clear aspirational goal, often quite different from where they are now, and which is closely linked with their personal priorities.
  • May take a number of different roles to make ends meet but are clear about where they want to get to.

Opportunistic careerists

  • Grab what is in front of them based on a chance conversation or an opportunity that crops up unexpectedly.
  • Are flexible and may not even seem to make a conscious choice as to what to do next.

All of these approaches are perfectly valid and choosing the most appropriate category for you can help you to feel comfortable about your style, rather than worrying that you might be making decisions for the wrong reasons.

Now you have gained some insight into how you might choose the right opportunity, you can start to research where to look and how to maximise your applications.