Like the other significant questions in life, your career choices deserve thoughtful attention. As with personal relationships or political issues, the career you're excited about today may fade from interest as something more intriguing comes along. So think of career planning as an on-going process of introspection and action. Although career planning can't prepare you for all life's surprises, it is a reasonable, positive way to direct your energies that will increase your chances of moving into a job that you truly enjoy.
The following are basic steps in the process of career planning. Because you will most likely have several jobs in more than one career field during the course of your life, you will find yourself going back through the steps again and again as you gain new insights and experiences.
Step 1: Learn about yourself
- Personal traits
- Evaluate past experiences
Career Resource Center resources to use: career assessments, "Deciding on a major" guide, and career counseling. Other resources to use: Your classes, extracurricular involvement, feedback from faculty, friends, family.
Step 2: Identify and Explore Careers
- Read literature
- Talk with people
- Speak with professionals in your field(s) of interest
- Participate in Internships / Summer & Part Time Jobs
- Take part in Volunteer/Community Service
- Hobbies and activities
- Campus activities
Career Resource Center Resources to use: Career Advising Handbook, Internship and Summer Job postings, individual meeting with career counselor.
Step 3: Pursue education, Develop Expertise
- Complete College degree(s)
- Obtain necessary licenses or certification
- Gain experiences to enhance skill
Career Resource Center resources to use: Internships & Job Postings, Graduate School information, individual meeting with career counselor. Other resources to use: Faculty mentors, supervisors and co-workers.
Step 4: Seek and accept satisfying employment
- Develop job search strategies
- Networking, resumes, cover letters
- Identify job openings
- Evaluate offers and accept position
Career Resource Center resources to use: Various handouts, on-campus recruiting, resume cover letter review, mock interviews, individual meeting with career counselor.
Other resources to use: Faculty mentors, supervisors, other personal/professional contacts