Career Decision Making Model

Career development is a lifelong process that relies on resilience and the evolution of the job market. For that reason, we need to understand ourselves, adjust goals over time, and take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

The University Career Center uses this model to understand this process and help make informed decisions throughout your life:

Thrive: use self-awareness and strengths to excel in any environment

Explore: find options for careers and majors that align with self

Engage: actively explore and create opportunities to advance professionally

Prepare: accept the element of chance in this process and set short-term flexible goals

Adapt: embrace change and create contingency plans to continue forward


There is no beginning or end to the model and it is ever-changing, just like life. Use this as a way to conceptualize your decision-making process and always be recognizing areas in which you Thrive.

How We Can Help

Career Counseling Process

Step 1

Visit the University Career Center during drop-in hoursĀ or make an appointment to meet with a career counselor to discuss changing your major or exploring careers/majors. If career assessments might be useful, links will be emailed to you. An interpretation appointment will set at this time or you can do so after this meeting.

Step 2

If career assessments are assigned, you will take them online at your convenience prior to your interpretation appointment. Each assessment will take about 30 minutes to complete.

Step 3

During your interpretation appointment, the career counselor will discuss your results and show you what they mean and how to use this information. Non-biased career information resources will be demonstrated at this time and emailed to you after the appointment.

Step 4

After exploring majors and careers on your own with these resources, you can make as many follow-up appointments as needed.

Common discussions include:

  • additional information about areas of consideration
  • deciding between options
  • setting up a job shadow or informational interview,
  • getting advice on what to do after making a decision

Resources to Help

Career Assessments
Pathways: Major Guides
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Majors at Auburn University
What Can I do with This Major?
CandidCareer Videos

Speak with Professionals

How to Arrange Job Shadow or Informational Interview

Last modified: September 14, 2020