Individual career counseling is often helpful for students who (1) are undecided about their career or academic direction, (2) want help in understanding and processing their career options, and/or (3) need assistance in exploring ways to overcome obstacles in their career path.
The staff in the Career Services Office is committed to assisting students in viewing career decision making as an on-going "life-planning" process, rather than a one-time choice. Through a one on one meeting with students, they can help evaluate and improve self-understanding, knowledge of the work world, and decision making skills. By integrating the results of a variety of assessment tools, they can also help strategize ways to implement career choices, both educational and occupational, and to help facilitate adjustment to work and educational environments. Often counselors can help students identify and defeat stumbling blocks to career development. If you are unsure what career resources you might need, or if you are undecided about a field of study, an appointment with a career service is definitely a good place to start. However, students interested in preparing for the job search process making may also find an individual appointment helpful. Of course, individual career counseling services are confidential.
Common Reasons for Indecisiveness (from Career Counseling: A Psychological Approach, Yost & Corbishley, 1987.) If any of these seem familiar, it would be a good reason to talk to a career counselor, who can help you work through the issues.
- Fear of failure. Some people feel that it is better to be a potentially successful person who has not yet entered a chosen field, than someone who is in a career but not successful.
- Effect of Significant Others. The relationships we have with others may strongly affect decision-making. It is not uncommon for individuals to avoid making decisions they fear significant others will disapprove of or that may have some adverse effect on significant others.
- Desire for Perfection. Sometimes individuals are unwilling to commit to a choice that they believe is not "perfect". Since few choices are perfect, this certainly delays decision-making.
- Hasty Decision Making. This is the dart-board decision-making approach. Individuals who use this style of decision making often have trouble staying committed to their choice, since they had no meaningful commitment to the choice in the first place.
- Reinforcement of Indecisiveness. Sometimes delaying decision-making allows for continued attention and support from parents or significant others. This is often connected to fear of failure and desire for perfection.
- Equipotentiality. Sometimes (usually very gifted) people feel pulled in a variety of career directions in which they have equal interest and ability. These individuals sometimes worry that committing to one field will result in loss of another that they feel unwilling to let go.
- No Good Options. Individuals who may have experienced failure in previous choices sometimes feel that they have no good options. Often this is more related to their negative evaluation of themselves and their abilities than to a realistic appraisal of choices available.