Exploring options

Before you make a decision, it's important to choose a course of action from a number of alternative options and to look at various elements that will influence your final decision:

Brainstorming new ideas

Brainstorming creates new ideas, helps you to think through problems, motivates and develops you. You could use the following framework to think about your options:

1. Define and agree your objective
2. Brainstorm ideas and suggestions within a time limit
3. Categorise/condense/combine/refine your ideas
4. Assess and analyse the effects or results
5. Prioritise options and rank them in order as appropriate
6. Decide on  the actions you're going to take and the timescale
7. Control and monitor follow-up

Choose your profession

The National Careers Service has information on over 750 jobs.  Make sure you have the right skills and qualifications for the job that you want. This website also gives information about what the work would be like, the average salary you could expect and what the career prospects are for each job.

Choose your industry

Find out about the industry in which you would like to work on the job sectors website. There are comprehensive career guides to jobs in the industry or sector, with articles, news and features, as well as information on recruitment, postgraduate courses and practical information on finding a job in your chosen area.

Choose a status

Which job status suits you best?

  • Working as an employee

There are clearly many benefits to becoming an employee of any organisation. There are also setbacks to this traditional way of working.

Pros Cons

Static schedule: You just show up to your company and do your work well

Pay is guaranteed

Ability to move up the ranks

You may never get to follow your passions

You may need to follow a set routine

You may not have the freedom to take all the decisions about the way to approach your work

  • Working as a freelancer/entrepreneur

Pros Cons

The freedom that it affords. You no longer have to conform to a 9 to 5 schedule

The relaxed work atmosphere. There is no boss to tell you what to do and no endless commuting when you work from home

You’ll have the chance to put your ideas into practice.

You’ll learn more about every aspect of a business and gain experience in a variety of disciplines.

You’ll have the chance to work directly with your customers.

You’ll have the personal satisfaction of creating and running your own business.

As you don't have a boss, you need a high level of discipline and motivation to move things forward

Your income is linked to the success of your marketing efforts and if you don't get enough clients, you don't make any money

You will probably have to work long hours and may have fewer opportunities to take vacations.

You may have to undertake tasks you find unpleasant, such as firing someone or refusing to hire a friend or relative.

You may have to learn many new disciplines, such as filing and bookkeeping, inventory control, production planning, advertising and promotion, market research and general management.