Truro Sunset

What is life planning? Life planning is all about making sound decisions and deciding what you want to be when you grow up. It includes assessing your interests, exploring career options, using labor market information and making career decisions. On Cape Cod and the Islands we have many choices but the first place to start is by charting your course or coming up with a plan.

Career decision making is probably one of the most important decisions you will ever make. This decision should not be made lightly. Careful thought, research and consideration should be made before making a decision. There are seven steps to sound decision making. These seven steps can help you decide what to wear in the morning, what car you would like to buy all the way to deciding what career would most interest you.

Before deciding on a career, complete the following steps:

Evaluate your Skills, Interests and Abilities: The following links bring you to several online assessment tools that can help you understand yourself and what you like to do.

Mass Career Information System (MassCIS) career cluster inventory helps you assess what you enjoy doing and the careers that use similar skill interests.

Career Games is a site that features games, workshops and assessments to help you discover what your skills are, what types of jobs, occupations interest you, job hunting tips, interview help, etc.

My Next Move–an O*NET Interest Profiler can help you find out what your interests are, how they relate to the world of work and what kinds of careers you might want to explore.

The Perfect Career-—an online tool that helps you “discover the career that’s right for you!”

Could This Be Your Life–Take an interactive journey to see the impact that your choices have on your life. This website, developed by the Illinois State University, provides you with the tools to plan for the rewarding life you always imagined.

Decide on your work values

What ideals and core beliefs are most important to you? What motivates you to work hard? You will most likely to be comfortable and thrive in a work environment that is compatible with your own values. Difficulties may arise if you find yourself in conflict with a work situation or environment that conflicts with your values. Here are links to sites that can help you discover your core values: Core Values Exercise, a PDF that helps you evaluate 150 key values.

 The Self Assessment Tool–Identify Personal Interests, Skills and Values–a Self-assessment tool that is a foundation for career decision making, planning and action. Assessing and understanding your interests, skills and values is the first step in identifying the career path that is right for you.

Use the 7 step decision making process to help you choose a career direction

  1. Identify the decision to be made- (Do I want to go to college, vocational school, work, or join the military?)
  2. Gather the information – (What are my interests, abilities, values, career options, needed salary, education?)
  3. Identify alternatives – (What career options do I think best suit me?)
  4. Weigh the evidence – (From the above information what are some possible career choices for me?)
  5. Choose among the alternatives-(From what has been gathered generate a list of possible career choices)
  6. Take action-( Make a plan, research the career option and the work environment, meet with others in the same career and talk to school representatives)
  7. Review and evaluate the decision – (Did I consider all the options? Are there other things I need to consider?)