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Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

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6 Making choices and keeping going

A photograph of two diverging dirt tracks through a field and the sun setting in the background.
Figure 5 Making choices

At this point you may be feeling overwhelmed by all the potential work options. This is natural. The kind of work and thinking you are doing can feel challenging at times. As well as this, the world of work and developing a career is very complex. You may feel at the moment as if there are too many options, which may be making you feel unsettled. Although uncomfortable, these kinds of feeling are not necessarily a bad thing. They are a sign that you are making progress with the changes you want.

So, if you find yourself feeling daunted or lacking motivation to continue exploring the options, some of the following tips might help:

  • Prioritise only the options that you think you could make happen within the next 3–6 months
  • Do a numerical ratings exercise on the options – give them three points if they feel really attractive, two points if they have some attraction and only one point if they do not appeal to you. Then concentrate your thinking only on the one or two top-scoring options.

Then, before moving on to the final activity this week, remind yourself of how much you have already achieved. Focus only on the things you have done, not the ones you might have left to one side. Whatever you are able to do on this course is great. It still takes you forward. Remember that you will have your notebook to return to at any stage in the future. You can pick up any loose threads when you feel ready and able to do that.

Before leaving this week behind though, pause to think about which of the work options may have appeal or merit to you, now or in the future.

Activity 8 Work options and patterns

Timing: Allow approximately 15 minutes

First, read back through the research in your notebook for the kind of work you want to find. Next think about whether any of the seven options included in Section 5 open up ways of working that you had not previously considered. For example, can you combine two forms of part-time work? Could you set up a small business from home, alongside your existing job if necessary? Would it be practical for you to do temporary work, as a way of finding out more about the types of work and employer that appeal to you?

Makes some notes in your notebook in answer to the following questions.

  1. What work pattern options had you not previously considered?
  2. Do any of them appeal to you? If so, why?
  3. Do any of them seem to have the potential to provide a ‘bridge’ or ‘stepping stone’ to the work you want?
  4. What research question(s) does this raise for you? What might you need to find out to test the viability of your new ideas?


As with many of the activities in the course, your answer will be personal to you. Whatever these are, they represent real progress in the career planning process, so well done.