Career planning is a process that generally does not happen in a day. Take the time to invest in your plan, and it will be worth it.
Step 1: Self Assessment
The first step in career planning is identifying your interests, skills, values, and work ethic. Knowing what these are for you means being able to talk about them and express them to others. The time you take to learn about yourself is well worth the investment.
- Career Cruising: complete the career assessments. Career Cruising Access flyer.
- Discuss your interests, strengths, and priorities with an academic/career advisor
- Take a class to help you identify your goal:
- STU110 Career Discovery (1 credit): for students who are confused or uncertain about a career path and/or college major.
- BSA102 Career and Life Planning (1 credit): for students who need workplace skills, or need to develop a resume and job search techniques.
- Learn your Holland Code to help you discover your career preferences.
Step 2: Career Exploration
Explore the descriptions of various occupations, as well as labor markets and salary information:
Additional Salary information sites:
If you are not sure about a career path right now, but have an interest in a certain subject, such as psychology, automotive, or biology:
Participating in the following may also help to give further insight into an interesting occupational field:
Step 3: Make a Decision
Make a Decision
Consider what you know about yourself and what you learned about various occupations to make a decision on the career path you want to follow. What strategy do you use to make your decisions? The best decisions often involve several of the following:
- Experience – consider what’s worked in the past for you and others
- Opinion – consider what others say you should do
- Logic – objectively weigh pros and cons of your alternatives
- Serendipity – use your gift of finding good things
- Feeling – subjectively consider how you feel about your alternatives
- Intuition – rely on your ‘sixth-sense’ about your options
- Desperation – take the first/quickest route
If you need some additional information to made a decision, consider talking with people working in the field in which you are interested:
Step 4: Plan your Course of Study
Plan your Course of Study
Now that you have identified a career path, find out what you need to do to achieve your goal. Create short-term and long-term goals for reaching those goals. Monitor your progress and make any adjustments as needed.
Employers want employees who have career-specific skills, such as teaching or accounting, but they also want people to have good oral and written communication skills, computer literacy, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, the ability to work as a member of a team, and creativity, among other things. Your degree requirements include courses that will help you develop those skills. Volunteer work and involvement in clubs can further develop those skills. Think of ways to enhance your chances of getting a job, and select your courses and out-of classroom activities accordingly.
Step 5: Getting the Job
Getting the Job
Finding the right job takes planning, preparation, patience, and time. Organization, a positive attitude, and flexibility are all qualities that will you're your search all the much easier. You are selling a very valuable product - YOU!
Focus your attention on the matching qualifications and skills you bring to a job.
Prepare for your interview with this comprehensive guide.
- Customize your resume for each job application, especially your Objective.
- Emphasize the keywords in the job description that match your skills and experience.
- Preparation is important – research the companies’ mission statement and culture.
- Dress to impress – clean, pressed clothes and excellent hygiene, but no perfume or cologne.
- Clean up your web presence, as employers will Google you.
- Convey positive energy and enthusiasm for the job and the company.
- Shake hands at the beginning and end of an interview, and make eye contact, and make sure your phone is powered off.
- Follow up with a thank you email or card, indicating your continued interest in the position.
Sites for local, state, and national jobs
Step 6: Lifelong Learning
In the job market of the 21st century, it will be common for people to have a variety of careers. Employees will need to keep their skills current to enhance opportunities for advancement and to pursue other positions. Attending professional development workshops, taking courses, and networking with others in your field will provide you with such opportunities.