Some of us are born musicians, writers, accountants or entrepreneurs, knowing from an early age exactly how we want to spend our lives. These lucky people know without a doubt what they love to do: they will make a living singing, writing, accounting, creating a business. For most of us, however, we first need to learn about ourselves, such as our values, interests, personality, skills, needs and wants.
- What do I love to do? What activity makes me lose track of time and lets me feel most myself?
- What am I looking for in a work environment?
- Do I work better by myself or in a collaborative team?
- What would my day look like?
- Which of my skills do I enjoy enough that they could become part of my career?
After learning more about your skills and interests, the next step is to explore the career paths that align with your assessment results.
- Explore links between majors and career
- Research occupations: what does an average day look like?
- Conduct information interviews
Reflect and Set Goals
Think about what you have learned about yourself and the world of work and make some decisions. Plan some “try-out” steps: volunteer in work environments similar to those you are interested in; do a credit-bearing internship through your department or the cooperative education program, find a part-time job and try to identify a possible mentor.
Really try to involve yourself in the “try-out” experience. Take advantage of the experience by building your network. Create a great resume and practice your interview skills.
Pay attention to how you feel in your try-out experience. Reflect on your accomplishments or failures. Remember that any step forward is an accomplishment. If you discover that the path you have chosen does not quite fit, you may need to change your goals.
The career development process continues throughout your career as you continually reassess how things are going, making changes and adjustments as situations require.
Your Career Services Director is here to help you with this process.