Making good career decisions starts with exploration - looking inward at who you are and looking outward at the world of work and all its opportunities.
Who are you right now? What are your work-related and personal values? What are your skills? Abilities? Interests? Personality? And how do these influence your career and job-related goals and choices?
Figuring out the answers to these questions takes time. The Center for Career & Professional Development encourages you to begin as early as your first year to begin thinking about life beyond college.
Through individual advising you can assess yourself. Learn a vocabulary to better articulate what’s important to you - something you may know subconsciously but have not really noticed. See what careers people who are similar to you in terms of personality, interests and values are often found in and gain some confidence in your career aspirations or discover some new possibilities.
Then take the next step and research occupations (online, in our Resource Center library, and at special events featuring alumni and other professionals talking about their work). You’ve been to the doctor, you’ve had teachers and you might know what your family members do for a living, but most careers you’ve never heard of, or don’t really know what they entail.
When you have a few ideas of careers you want to explore in more depth, you’re ready to test them out and gain some experience. Internships and experiences like volunteerism, study abroad and leadership are essential to landing the job post-graduation.
For more details, download the Career Exploration Checklist.