How A Career Decision Timeline Can Change Your Future

career decision making time line tool

How past career decisions can shape your future

We may not realize it, but the day to day decisions we make affect our careers for a lifetime.

So if you are struggling to make a career decision because of:

  • deciding on a career move
  • deciding to leave a job
  • deciding to make a career change
  • deciding between two jobs
  • regretting your career choice
  • considering future career goals

there are a pattern of choices you have made in the past that lead to where you are now.

There are many angles to making a career decision, Harvard Business Review has 166 ways as of this publication.  Most of them are a bit esoteric for our purposes.

But to keep it simple for our purposes here, there is one easy career decision making system I use with clients to break their patterns? Look to your decision timeline – past and future.

Make career decisions and choices in a new way

What if you decided to make your career choices in a new way. Wouldn’t that change your life? There is no question about it.

For example Bill Gates left college before he graduated because he knew he had an idea that could make a big breakthrough. What if he had stayed in school and his competitors scooped him? He would not have founded a start-up now called Microsoft.

Don’t let your career decisions just happen to you

This Career Decision Timeline tool lets you look at your last ten years in terms of career choices and lifestyle decisions you have made. This can guide you to make your breakthrough  job choices for the future.

By examining your past decisions, and what values they were based on, you can lay out a blueprint for a prosperous future – for now, for the next ten years and beyond.

This way, rather than just letting life “happen” to you, you can guide it in the direction that works best for you, like a GPS guiding your career.

Why be frustrated with your current job or financial situation, when there is an awesome career path you could be blazing to secure your future?

Get a handle on your future career

Take 5 or 10 minutes to take a stroll through this Decision Timeline tool, and get a handle on your future – starting now. It’s that easy.

Look at your career options, money beliefs and relationship choices, and see if there is an area where new choices and new beliefs can expand your career options brighter than you ever thought possible.

You are not looking to “blame” yourself here. Not at all. You want to examine: What value system guided my patterns of decision making? What values can guide new trends in my choices?

How to use this career decision timeline tool

Go through past ten years, and examine how it all came about. Then look at next 10 years. Ask yourself what new choices, based on what values and beliefs, can I make to bring me the prosperity and happiness I want?

You might not be able to answer everything, of course on the first try. But let this process open your thoughts to future consideration.

Ready? Here is your chance to review how you have made career decisions in the past, and how to make the decisions that can help you find the right career path in the future.

Past 10 years – Career Decision Timeline

First, review the decisions you’ve made over the last 10 years:

Looking back at my last 10 years:
Did I make hasty decisions based on
these factors?
Yes or NoFor all of your ‘yes’ answers,
Did I make hasty decisions here?Then ask yourself
“How can I avoid making hasty decisions like this in the future?
Under pressure to take anything, desperation
Pride to stay with a path when it’s wrong for me
Family member or friend’s suggestion
“For the money”
My friend works there
Somebody else’s idea?
Easiest to do
Supposed to be temporary
Spur of the moment, how I felt at the moment
Went to school for it
Just showed up and got a paycheck
Money and spending choices
Just enough to pay bills
Spend whatever I made
Didn’t have a plan
Worked hard wanted vacation
Didn’t think ahead
Never thought job market would melt down
Slave to paying off credit and debt I ran up
Saved money, but spent it
My paycheck just kinda disappeared all the time
Had a bad habit
Always behind
Relationship choices
Whoever was around, I just hung out
Under pressure to take anyone, desperation
Spread myself too thin
Family member suggestion
“For the money, car, house, lifestyle, etc.”
My friend dated their friend
Somebody else’s idea
Easiest to do
Supposed to be temporary
Spur of the moment, how I felt at the time
They were great partner, I didn’t invest enough time
Just showed up and met them
Expected to marry someone, anyone
Career choices

What did you discover after reviewing what decisions you made – and how you made them –  over the last 10 years?

What hasty career decisions did you make? More importantly, what guided those decisions?

What set of beliefs, values or impulses guided your decisions? Are they serving you?

Physically write down the top 3 to 5 hasty career decisions you made in the past that you want to avoid this time around.

Next 10 years – Career Decision Timeline

Plan out better personal and career decisions over the next 10 years by identifying and cultivating new values and beliefs.

Go through this list and cultivate those values, beliefs and factors that help you make better career, money and relationship choices:

“Looking forward at my next 10 years, how do I make solid decisions?“What beliefs and values must I cultivate to ensure I make the most fulfilling & lucrative
career, money and relationship choices over the next 10 years?”
Based on a defined career purpose
Based solidly on my values and beliefs
Using my most valuable, enjoyable skills
Serving my ideal community & audience
Satisfying my interests and desire
Where I have the most confidence
With a belief that “I deserve the best”
Work in a way that gives me control
Design the career that I want
Look for my “edge” and make my breakthrough
My way, my style, my needs
Follow my lucrative Career Plan
Money and spending choices
Work in my optimal career so I make the most money
Generate multiple streams of income
Put together a money management plan
Only spend money on assets that grow
Build a savings and only spend from there
No more debt unless its towards assets
Dump the bad habits
Look for low cost ways of recreation
Vacation only on saved money, never credit
Make an investment into the wealth I want
Relationship management choices
Improve how I Value my relationships
Value what I bring to a relationship
Choose who I want to spend time with
Plan out relationship strategies that serve me
Dump relationship parasites and vampires
Choose from the belief “I deserve the best”
Look for mentors in areas you need to grow
Spend 80% of my time with important 20%
Have several friends for several activities
I don’t have to be needy or desperate
Build my value so I am more desirable
Join like-minded communities
Be disciplined to not over extend myself
Invest into relationships I want to develop
Plan out my career choices

Feel better after reviewing what decisions you can cultivate over the next 10 years? You are now in control of your future.

Choose the top 3 or 5 NEW set of beliefs and values you must cultivate to make the best career decisions, so you can avoid career regrets.

You now have a career decision template to guide your better career decisions right now, and in future career decisions.

All you have to do now is review this list daily for 4 to 6 weeks to internalize it, and it will cultivate the beliefs you want to manifest.

I offer a free downloadable Career Decision Making Tool here as well. Its a fillable PDF that goes more in depth than we do here.

Free career decision making worksheet in fillable pdf

The 10 year career decision timeline is addressed more in depth in the Career Discovery and Self-assessment course: Define Your Career

You can try out the first section of the course for free:  Click here to get the Free Report: How to Unlock Your Career Destiny

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Larry Lafata, Career Discovery Coach

Larry LaFata is founder of and the world’s only Career Discovery Coach. He is dedicated to help you discover your Career Destiny, regardless of your background, education or experience. His innovative courses include Define Your Career Destiny one week home study course and Career Destiny Workshop for Besties.

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