Identifying and exploring potentially satisfying occupations
Developing an effective strategy to realize your goals
It's possible to quickly choose a career. But to find a career that's right for you, it's helpful to slow down, give it some thought and take the time to get it right. This is useful whether you are choosing a career for the first time or changing careers for the thirty-first time.
Career exploration is not the same as job searching. Job searching is the short-term pursuit of a position that matches your financial and career goals. Career exploration is the long, progressive process of choosing education, training and finding jobs that fit your interests and skills.
When making significant career or education decisions, it is important to recognize a few key characteristics about yourself so you can make choices that are well suited for you. Specifically, it is helpful to clearly understand:
Strengths and abilities
Having a clear understanding of these factors will help you choose a major, career or 4-year college that fits you.
One way to uncover such personal characteristics is to use self-assessment tools. Assessment tools are designed to help you identify your interests, skills, personality type and values and how they can be best matched with school or career pursuits. Many self-assessments make a correlation between your personal attributes and related career fields; however, they do not provide a definitive answer to the question “What career should I choose?” Instead, they give you suggestions of a variety of careers that might be a good match for you. You will benefit the most from self-assessment if you see a career counselor to assist you with interpreting the results.
Students can choose from the following assessments:
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator: a self-report questionnaire designed to help you understand your personality type.
CHOICES Planner: a free online assessment that allows you to explore your interests, transferable skills and work priorities as they relate to occupations.
Strong Interest Inventory: allows you to discover your interests, preferences and personality style. There is a fee attached to this tool.
In addition to self-assessment tools, there are other ways you can evaluate yourself. You can learn a great deal about your interests, skills and values through real-life experiences such as internships.
Focus 2: An assessment of your personal and professional interests and strengths