Your Decision Making Process
We are here to help you reflect upon yourself, your options, and your decision making.
As an Occidental College student, you have chosen a liberal arts education for a variety of reasons. Here at Oxy, students often change their mind about majors up to two or three times. As you are making these considerations, it helps to reflect on yourself, your options, and how you make decisions. The relationship between these is outlined in the diagram below.
Students use a variety of methods when making a serious decision. Some use a systematic approach such as weighing pros and cons; some use a spontaneous approach by choosing whatever intuitively feels right. Some students talk through their decision-making, obtaining input from others prior to making up their mind; others may think things through internally. Some look at all the alternatives, possibilities, and the consequences of each.
As you have already begun making important decisions, such as choosing to come to Oxy, you will need to engage in a similarly thoughtful process as your career interests develop. The three key areas of career decision making are to understand how your interests, values, and skills intersect. Availing of one-on-one career counseling allows you to have a personalized, guided conversation that moves you forward on your journey. Whatever your approach, career decision making is a dynamic process that takes time and reflection.
Key Areas of Career Decision Making
Self-knowledge affords you confidence in making decisions
While you are probably adroit in picking courses, choosing sports, or other co-curricular activities, your academic experience up to this point has probably not required you to think about yourself in the context of your career. Taking the time to think about your interests, values, and aspirations in relationship to occupations you are considering is the first step in an overall effective career decision making process.
More on Interests
Interests are what you enjoy doing
There are a variety of ways you can become clear on your interests and how they relate to career choices. A great place to start is the California Career Zone, where you can take an Interest Profiler based on Holland's Strong Interest Inventory. This assessment asserts that people with like interests are more inclined to enjoy their work environment.
More on Values
Values are what motivate you to work
What type of organization do you want to work in? How large? For-profit? Non-profit? A creative work environment or one with routine activities? How you think about these questions and others, such as your opinions about income, prestige, advancement, etc. will greatly influence your career satisfaction. The Values Card Sort, which can be administered by a counselor in the CDC, is one way you can begin to identify your personal and professional values.
More on Skills
Skills are what you do well
Think about the skills you are mastering at Occidental College and what skills you imagine would be attractive to graduate schools and employers. The CDC can administer a variety of workshops and activities that will help you identify and categorize the skills you are mastering in your academic and co-curricular experiences.