Making a decision about your career will always be tough, no matter how big or small. I have had to make numerous decisions with my career, some of them for feeling like a huge risk to take. Here are some of my tips and tricks which I’ve learnt along the way to avoid decisions being risky and more thought through:
Do your research
A pretty obvious one to start with but it is one a lot of people forget about (myself included!). Whether picking a course to enrol in, a new role you want to apply for, or wanting to move away for a career opportunity, look into everything. What are the benefits for me for taking this course or accepting this new role? How many people have recommended this place to work or study? Does the job or course match my criteria? Will my decision have a cost implication? Even look simple things such as transport routes/options – all of these things should be considered and looked into before finalising any decision. Remember, Google is your best friend for researching and finding recommendations about near enough anything!
Write It All Down
I don’t know about you, but I love a good list. So for me, when making a decision about
Ask All The Questions
Something I always used to find difficult. From asking questions to my colleagues to questions in an interview, I found it hard, but not so much now. The one thing I do now is prepare. If nothing is covered in an email, webpage or even a conversation with someone, jot it down and mention it the next time you speak to someone. It’s really important to find out as much information before considering a big decision or change in your career. If you forget to ask questions when speaking with someone, why not reach out by email? When interviewing candidates I always mention that they can email me if they forgot to ask a question on the interview day. Interviews can be a nerve-racking thing and so it’s important to be available to answer questions throughout the process.
Find Out Your Alternatives
This was one that I can say I never looked into enough when deciding on whether to go to uni or not. Always keep an open mind with what options there are out there for you, I found out the hard way! Once dropping out of uni, I realised I enjoyed a far more hands-on, practical way of learning which is why I gravitated towards an apprenticeship when making the next step in my career. When looking at and applying for a new job, think about considering other prospects in your current workplace. Could you gain some experience in a different area of the organisation which may help develop new skills? Have a chat with your line manager or HR department about learning and development opportunities in the workplace, you never know what resource (both internally and externally) is out there!
Listen To The People Around You And Most Importantly…Yourself!
Whether you like it or not, your nearest and dearest are the people who know you best and are the people who are there to support and advise you throughout your entire life. They would have most likely had to make a big decision about their career in the past, so listen to what they have to say and understand the lessons they learnt. Ultimately, you should always have the final say on where you want to take your career.
Do you have any advice you’d give to others around big career decisions? Let me know!