4 Phases Of Career Decision Making – Dr. Joe Abah

Last updated on December 23rd, 2023 at 01:06 pm

Understand career decision making with Dr. Joe Abba. Gain valuable insights and guidance to navigate your professional path through sound decisions.

I stumbled on this premium but free advice from a well-respected Nigerian figure and author, Dr. Joe Abah on career decision making.

I felt this is not the type of information one can get on a regular and decided to put it up here verbatim for any individual who is keen on personal development.

Dr. Joe Abah might not be everybody’s favourite person on Twitter, but he always has a way of adding value regularly to his teeming followers.

Although he says it’s not an expert view, it sure would uplift and give you a clear view of what to do or where to improve in his career and life.

Dr Joe Abah writes…

Today, I want to talk about career decisions. To my mind, there are essentially four phases to your career.

Each phase requires you to make a set of decisions that may or may not determine your future.

This is not an expert’s view and is not universally true.

Also Read: Self-Management Skills For Living A Healthy Life?

Career Decision Making

Career Decision – Phase 1

In Phase 1, you have to decide whether to look for anything at all to do that brings you money & keeps you occupied, or you just want to stay home, feel sorry for yourself, and blame everything on others – your parents, the older generation, politicians, village people…

If you decide to just blame everybody else, you will feel a sense of righteousness but it won’t pay the bills.

Somebody will ask you: “Na only you?” When Tobi Amusan broke the world record and some said it was wind-assisted, someone rightfully asked: Na only she the wind blow?

If you decide to just take any job, it may not be a job you enjoy doing. You need to be clear that you are just doing it to keep body and soul together.

Recommended: Factors that Determine Career Decisions

Look at your overall boss and ask yourself: Is this person living my dream life? Is this all I want in life?

If the answer is Yes, stay and learn the job. Focus on how you can get better at it than everyone else. You may still hate it, or hate the phase of it that you are in, but you have a goal.

Take the pain, work hard, and improve yourself by learning new skills related to the job.

If you want more from life than the life of your overall boss, invest in learning new skills that may target a completely different career.

Learn different ones. You don’t know the one that will gel. At a point, you will come to another decision point. Do I still stay or leave?

If you are young, single, and have limited responsibilities, you may decide to just leave, so that you have time to focus on getting yourself into that new career.

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Going to work every day and working long hours for money will not leave you time to even think about your future.

However, if you have a family to look after, you would need to think very carefully about where the children’s next school, the next house rent, food money, etc., will come from.

Many that just quit with no ready alternative often underestimate how long it takes to stabilise.

If another job that pays more comes up, take it. Remember that you may still hate it but the extra money will reduce the pain.

At this stage in your career, you need to be ruthless. You just need to earn more. Loyalty is mainly to yourself & the needs of those who depend on you.

Related: How To Identify Your Strengths For Personal Growth

Career Decision Making Phase – 2

In Phase 2, you have acquired some skills and experience. You have more of a choice. Of every 20 job applications, you can expect to get at least 2 invitations to an interview.

You may even have some savings. Another decision point: do I continue in this line I hate or leave?

If you choose to leave, it would be easier if you’ve saved up enough to pay your bills for 2 years. You’ll have time to focus on a new career.

However, many won’t have that much savings. School fees and rent are due soon. You need to continue to train your siblings. You stay.

Also Read: 15 Phrases That Make You Emotionally Intelligent

Career Decision Making Phase – 3

In Phase 3, you are finally comfortable. You are getting to the top of that job you hate.

The bigger pay makes it less painful to wake up and set out in the morning. You are in demand in your industry. Other organisations may even headhunt you.

Another decision point: stay or go?

This is another point to look at the life of your overall boss and wonder whether or not that’s your dream life.

At this point, you are leading a function and making decisions that affect the career of others.

You are trusted with sensitive information. Loyalty becomes important.

Related: 9 Ways To Boost Your Self-confidence And Self-esteem

Career Decision Making Phase – 4

The decision is: do I work my way to become the overall boss in this organisation or do I have a better chance of reaching the top if I go somewhere else? You may also not care about reaching the top because you don’t want all the stress that comes with ultimate responsibility.


Many people find themselves in precarious situations because they do not receive such clear advice, and when they get it, it is not as succinct as what they have just read.

It is rewarding to always know what decision to take in your career to be able to progress without wasting time and move up the social ladder as quickly as possible.

Thank you for reading this post. If you are pleased, please share with your friends and family to also benefit.

Suggested: Harrington and O’shea’s System for Career Decision Making

Original post by Dr. Joe Abah

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 4 phases of the career?

The four phases of a career are exploration, establishment, maintenance, and disengagement.

What are the 4 stages of the career model?

The four stages of the career model are assessment, exploration, establishment, and maintenance.

What are the four steps to be considered in making career decisions?

The four steps in making career decisions are self-assessment, exploration, decision-making, and action planning.

What are the 4 P’s of career planning?

The 4 P’s of career planning are passion, purpose, positioning, and planning.

Related: Guides On How To Become A Better Man In The Society


  1. https://stockton.edu/career-center/four-phase-test.html
  2. https://ocs.yale.edu/blog/2022/12/11/explore-five-step-career-decision-making-process/
  3. https://www.workitdaily.com/phases-of-career-development
  4. https://www.youthemployment.org.uk/career-planning-a-simple-4-step-process-to-get-started/
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Pious Clements is the insightful voice behind "The Conducts of Life" blog, where he writes about life ethics, self-development, life mastery, and the dynamics of people and society.

With a profound understanding of human behaviuor and societal dynamics, Pious offers thought-provoking perspectives on ethical living and personal growth.
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