November is National Career Development Month, and it’s a great time to start exploring the cosmos thinking about life after Puget Sound!
For most people, figuring out what you want to do with your life is a complicated subject. For college students in particular, facing a million other competing must-do tasks to complete your degrees, the process can be overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be. Just take small steps!
When you boil the process down to its simplest form, career development consists of three steps: self-assessment, exploration, and action. Whether you just arrived at Puget Sound this fall, or you’re a super-senior eyeing a December graduation, those three steps can be manageable.
Here are a few easy activities in each category.
Who are you? What do you want out of life? Assess your talents and interests so you can identify career fields that might be a good match:
- Inventory your experiences—work, volunteer, travel, club, etc. Reflect on the good and bad, and what you’d like to do again.
- Identify your strengths. What are you good at? Ask friends, family, supervisors, coaches, faculty, etc. for their input. In a way, this is networking, so it’s good practice for that, too!
- Consider taking formal personality or interest assessments to jump start your thinking about career options.
What’s possible? What’s attainable? Explore options:
- Peruse career-related books, magazines, and professional journals. Visit the CES Career Resource Library!
- Surf the web for resources like industry websites and blogs. Career Cruising has industry guides.
- Search the ASK Network for alumni who work in fields that interest you. Use the LinkedIn.com/Alumni tool to research what grads in your major are doing with their degrees. Consider contacting alumni for informational interviews. Read the CESblog “A Logger on the Verge: Informational Interviews.”
You’ve assessed and explored. Now it’s time to take action! Prepare for a successful job or internship search:
- Create a resume that markets your skills and experiences.
- Develop an introduction that you can adapt for many situations. Read the CESblog “Connect and Impress in 15 Seconds or Less.”
- Make your job search public knowledge! Tell everyone you know or meet the kind of opportunities you’re seeking. Read the CESblog “Networking: Building Relationships, Building Careers.”
Ready to take a step? Schedule a meeting with a CES career advisor to develop personalized career development strategies. We’ll help you prepare for the leap to life beyond Puget Sound!
Image from NASA
© 2010 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound (Updated 2017)