Fast-tracking the Career Exploration Process

Kathy Meyer, Career Consultant

In my 20 years as a career consultant, my role has been to listen, give resources and encourage students to learn all they can in order to discover their skills, interests and values. I often give them my quick guide on how to jump-start the career exploration process, looking and reading about the thousands of occupations that now make up the world of work.

Now I’m passing my guide on to you. Here’s my outline on how to conduct a career exploration on yourself, from the comfort of your own space:

1. Assess Yourself

Take several career assessments to narrow down your interests, skills, personality and values. The Strong Interest Inventory assessment, the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory, the Self Directed Search or the Card Sorts of Motivated Work Skills and Career Values are just a few. You have to know and believe in your product – yourself – thoroughly in order to market it.

2. Explore Options

Research possible job titles, companies and industries that interest you or that you think might mesh well with your skills, personality, interests and values.

3. Develop Skills

Identify your strengths, recognize your weaknesses and make improvements to your skills as you earn your degree. Join a student or professional organization, take on a leadership role, participate in student government or volunteer for a cause.

4. Market yourself

Prepare your two-minute introduction, or elevator pitch, network and express yourself confidently. Remember – it’s not really whom you know that counts; it’s who knows you and what they know about you.

5. Perform the Occupation…through job shadowing or an internship

Use your CometCareers account to find internships, whether one is required for your degree or not. Programs like Explore the WOW (World of Work) lets undergraduate students experience real work settings as “externs”. Valuable work experience can help you land that full-time job upon graduation.

Check with your career consultant to learn more about what you can do with your major or other majors you’re considering.

Want to learn more?

Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook or O*Net OnLine for career statistics, trends and definitions. You can also call or drop by the Career Center in the Student Services Building on campus.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathy Meyer is a recently retired career consultant who has worked in the Career Center for the last 15 years. She has loved interfacing with students and encouraging them to take risks in choosing a major or how to apply it in career opportunities upon graduation.

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Fast-tracking the Career Exploration Process

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