When it comes to making career decisions, most people are afraid of being unable to pay their bills for the next few months. This is just fear, and you will never know what is waiting for you on the other side until you take that leap of faith. Most Westerners, especially the Americans have trouble when making huge career decisions. For instance, some end up working for the wrong companies which don’t tap into their talents or skills.

Well, at Laowai Career’s social media pages and blog, you’ll find everything you need to know about making career decisions – what to do before changing jobs, questions to ask yourself before making career decisions, the career decisions test and more.

It’s important to note that a majority of young people from western countries put money first when making early career decisions. Although you may be taking home a fat check every month, you might be miserable at work. In the end, this will affect your health and the people you love. For instance, accepting a job that pays more money but has fewer employee benefits, such as retirement and health plans, is not a good idea.

Questions To Ask Yourself When Making Difficult Career Decisions

The personal and career decisions made during a person’s 20s set the foundation of his/her adult life. The biggest challenge facing young people is which job to take – should I take the one that promises experience or the one that promises security? A better-paying job or one that has a fast growing opportunity? Here are some questions that will help you when faced with life-changing career decisions.

Does the New Job Push You to Learn Something About Yourself?

There’s no better time for self-discovery through work than your 20s. This is why you should give more weight to the development and exploration possibilities when considering a new opportunity. Your early career decisions should give you the chance to grow and try something new. Always remain open to new opportunities outside your original career vision.

Does the New Job Motivate You to Learn Something New?

In most western countries, young people are encouraged to specialise in college majors, company leaders and more. However, specialising at an early stage may limit your potential and stunt your self-discovery.

Are You a Little Scared?

The moments and experiences that force us to stretch beyond our limits are the ones that make us grow. You should never be apologetic for being ambitious even when security and logic suggest otherwise.

What About Your Friends and Family, are They Scared?

People who love you will always want to protect you. Therefore, your family and friends may steer you towards a safe choice to minimise the risk of failure or risk. Even though their intentions are pure, their influence can be stifling. Remember, your personal and professional decisions may be difficult for others to understand.

Does it Bring More Passionate People Around You?

When it comes to career decisions, passion is very important and powerful. If you are passionate about your job, you will be able to interact with it hence coming up with more ideas on how to expand it. It’s even better when you surround yourself with innovation and energy.

Things to Do Before Leaving Your Job:

Come Up With a Transition Plan

Planning has never been exciting to anyone. However, putting together a transition plan is essential for making sure that you can get everything done before you leave. Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just ensure that your plan has at least this information:

  • The dates each of your tasks and projects will transition to their new owners.
  • Who will take over your existing tasks and projects?
  • What tasks and projects you will complete before exiting your organisation.

Archive What’s Important

Don’t be like other people who lose everything that is work-related when they leave their companies. Therefore, make sure you set aside enough time to archive everything that is important to you. Use online storage services such as Google Drive or DropBox.

Don’t Forget That Exit Interview

Whether your company requires an exit interview or not, it’s always a good idea to hold one with your manager. This gives you an opportunity to share some constructive feedback with your boss. For instance, you may ask him/her to tell you about the top three areas and strengths for development that you should focus on.

The Fear of Making Huge Career Decisions

During the career change process, most people are encountered with different types of fear. This is normal and acceptable. You should know that you are not alone. Here are some common fears:

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of what others might think
  • Fear of success
  • Fear of bad career decisions
  • Fear of not complying with other people’s dreams

How to Conquer Your Career Changing Fears

Fear will keep you stuck in the same place especially when it would be better to move on. Here are some questions that may help.

If I don’t make this change, what’s the best that can happen?

If you are unhappy with your current status, you are more likely to get more of the same. Here you have two choices; learn to love what you already have or move on to something new.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen if I Make the Change?

This is where you think about the difficulties that you are most likely to encounter if you make the big change. List those difficulties down and make plans to mitigate them.

No one knows everything

The unknown future will always appear scary to everyone. No one knows the future hence it’s a matter of giving something a new try. If you have the urge, go for it.

Will everything else stay the same if I don’t make this change?

No, it won’t. It’s normal to believe that the conditions we are accustomed to seeing will always be there, but this isn’t true. For instance, you may pass on that great business opportunity for the security of your job only to a victim of downsizing the following year.


Never forget to ask for advice and help from other people. Career decisions can be tricky when handled alone. Talk to other people about which options will help you see things in a new light. People to talk to include family, friends, your colleagues and career advisers at school or universities.

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