Career Decision Wheel — A fun way to plan your career 🎯

Start planning for your future by downloading the Career Decision Wheel Template today! Scroll down for the download link.

The Career Decision Wheel was originally created by Norman Amundson & Gray Poehenell. It is a helpful tool that can help you in your career decision-making process. Think about all of your opportunities, experiences and personal characteristics, and start writing them down in the template that we have adapted and adjusted to prep you! Additionally, you may refer to the article below to guide you through this exercise.

If you have already picked a particular course that is either too broad or too specialised, do not worry! Education will eventually lead you somewhere, and quite possibly, to the career of your choice. Explore different opportunities for further studies or career paths and you will see a wide range of possibilities! In addition, you may want to consider taking training courses or lessons related to your future work. Write down your educational background and work on your next steps to get closer to your aspirations!

If you are still thinking about where to take your further studies, you can start by exploring the different career pathways that you may be interested in. Note down the educational qualifications that each job requires and see how you can progress from where you are now. As you are still at the exploration stage, it is alright to have numerous jobs that you are keen on. Give yourself time to determine which profession suits you best.

It is time to start digging up your past and record down all of the experiences you have accumulated over the years till now. Recall all the part-time jobs that you have had during the holidays; the skill-building workshops or bonding camps that you have attended; and/or any other forms of training/activities that you have participated in. These may or may not contribute to your future work but nevertheless, they can still turn out to be useful. After listing them, move on to identifying the skills and strengths you have gained through your experiences!

Skills can range from technical knowledge towards a specific field to soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork etc. I am sure you have noticed that you have already developed some of these one way or another. Now, research on the career of your choice and identify the skills required for the job! Compare those with your own and pick out those that match the job description. Choosing a career that utilises skills that you have will make your work easier. However, if you do not possess some of the required skills, focus on how you can learn and develop them.

Here is a challenge: Take a step further by listing skills that you have but are not listed in the job description. Next, think about how you can link those to your future job. Any skill can be useful if it fits the context and is applied well.

If you are still unsure about what you would like to do in the future, do not fret! Continue listing down the skills you have gained throughout the years and briefly explain the importance of each one. Leave blanks so you can fill in more details once you have decided on a job that interests you. Of course, take your time to explore the various jobs and industries before doing this!

Be it career guidance or any other advice, the people around you make up a huge part of your life and can influence your decisions. Take a step back to ponder. What kind of people do YOU have on your network? Also, what kind of people do THE PEOPLE THAT YOU KNOW have on their network? Next, recall the jobs you have a little/a lot of interest in, and would like to find out more. Putting both pieces together, it is time to ask your connections for recommendations about who else can you approach. It can be quite easy to connect with others and grow your network through your peers, seniors, family or colleagues! You can even approach people on LinkedIn for help.

Your work and personal values determine things that are important and significant to you. They can influence your career decisions and choices, and help in planning for your future. If your values match the career of your choice, it would increase job satisfaction and happiness. However, if they are not met, it could actually cause a conflict between you and those in the job or industry you work at. Therefore, it is important that you know your values and choose a career that aligns with your beliefs or principles!

Work Values

Work values are usually clearly defined and most of the time, they fall under the categories of ‘salary’, ‘working conditions’ and ‘promotion opportunities’. It is rather straightforward since there is a clear motivation behind them.

Personal Values

While work values may be important, personal values are just as necessary to ensure long-term commitment and happiness in your job. These are beliefs that you may relate more closely to as compared to your work values. Some examples of personal values are: 1) Meeting new people; 2) Volunteering and leaving an impact on the lives of others; 3) Taking risks; 4) Gaining new experiences; 5) Keeping a good work-life balance.

People who meet both work and personal values can gain higher levels of motivation and fulfilment. As you list both values, you may also notice that some of them are interlinked and connected to one another. This means that one cannot be achieved if the other is not fulfilled. For instance, getting promoted to gain more experiences. Take a step further to link those together!

There are many free tests out there that evaluate the type of personality you have (i.e. determined, advocate, reserved, creative, logical, structural, empathic, sociable, responsible, leader, mediator, resourceful, observant, competitive etc.). I am sure most of us would have taken at least one before. Some of these quizzes may also attempt to classify you into careers or industries that will suit your traits. For example:

“Personality Type As are unlikely to actively seek out managerial positions…”
“Any emergency response role is well-suited for Personality Type B (e.g. police officers)…”
“Careers like technical writing or data analysis do not fit Personality Type Cs…”
“Work as business analysts and corporate strategists fits Personality Type Ds…”

Yes, these tests can be quite spot-on in certain areas. Even so, they MAY NOT always be right or necessarily true. If the results tell you that you are not suited for a particular job or industry, does that mean you cannot or are incapable of working in that field?

The aim that you should be focusing on is how can you utilise your own personality traits in the career of your choice and use them to maximise your own strengths. Remember, choosing your future job using personality indicators alone does not equate to job satisfaction or a measure of skill. If you are passionate towards something, any obstacles can be overcome.

With that said, let us start off by exploring the traits that would be helpful or are required for the job that you would like to pursue in the future. Then, pick out the skills that do not seem to fit and find out how can you still apply them in your job! For example: How can you be creative if you’re working as a nurse? — You may consider making your interactions with your patients more interesting (i.e. doing small magic tricks to distract patients while they are receiving medication). Other than that, you can also explore the possibilities of developing traits you do not have to meet the job requirements.

Do you have anything that you feel strongly about or have a good amount of interest in? It is ideal to mention all the things you like or think that you would enjoy so that you know what kind of activities you are currently involved in or would like to be a part of. Here are some questions you can think about:

  • What kind of activities have you been involved in within the last 2–6 months?
  • Is there anything that you feel strongly about or value the most (e.g. volunteerism)?
  • Through your interests, what personal needs are you meeting?
  • Are there any interests, hobbies or activities that you think you would like to be a part of or try?

It is important to know your personal needs so that you can continue these activities when you start working. In fulfilling your needs, you are setting personal goals for yourself aside from your work goals, which then helps to maintain a good work-life balance.

Additionally, you can take a step further by seeing which of them would be relevant to the career or industry that you are interested in. If you’re still confused about your career pathway — do you have any interest(s) that you would like to pursue as a future career? This may give you an idea of what you can or want to do in the future!

How will jobs or industries be different 10 years from now? Over this period, will there be a change in the skills that are required for certain jobs? What about jobs that are being replaced and jobs that are being created? It is difficult to tell what the future holds, but what we do know is that the needs of the job market are always changing. This means that what we think we know about certain jobs now may be very different in the future. They could be influenced by factors such as technology (i.e automation, robotics, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI)), consumer demands, or simply companies taking on new approaches or visions. All of these changes will then affect the job market, and subsequently, jobs and industries.

That being said, it is important for YOU to keep up with the latest and upcoming trends, demands, and opportunities in the job market — especially for the jobs or industries that you are interested in. In doing so, you will be well-prepared and equipped for your future workplace.

While it may be quite overwhelming to complete all 8 sections at once, take as much time as you need and do it step-by-step. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a message here!

Download the Career Decision Wheel Template here 😊

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