The first step in career exploration is reflecting on your interests and skills. It is easy to overlook this step in favor of choosing a career that has the highest salary or is in the greatest demand. Although these factors are important, finding a career that fits your personality and involves tasks that you are interested in is critical to your future career satisfaction.
Take the time to think about questions like, “What do I enjoy doing? What classes have I enjoyed? What classes did I dislike? What have I done well in the past? What am I really interested in?” Thoughtful answers to these questions will help to guide your major selection and career path. Once you have taken the time to do some personal reflection, it’s now time to gather the information you have gained and make a decision regarding your major. The practice of reflection does not end once you have made a major selection. It is only the beginning.
Exploration and reflection go hand in hand. As you progress in your major, we strongly recommend that you join professional organizations and actively seek out opportunities to learn by doing. This could be through experiential learning in conjunction with a class i.e. a capstone project or a case study sponsored by a company or even through internships and part time jobs. You can access Eagle Careers and attend career fairs to find out about job shadowing, internship and job opportunities.
After you complete any type of experiential learning exercise, you guessed it, we want you to reflect on that experience. What skills did you learn? If it was an internship or job, what did you notice about the office culture? Was it formal, relaxed or a mix of both? Was it a fit for you? In what areas do you need to improve? How can you increase your knowledge? The practice of reflecting is ongoing and will help to guide your career decisions from internship to beyond.
Our career center offers a host of resources including the MyPlan assessment to help you make this process easier. In addition to taking the assessment, please schedule an appointment with your career advisor to discuss the results.