Career Exploration - Career Planning
Professionals can expect an average of seven major changes of employment or occupation during their working life. The career decision-making process presented here offers a series of activities to help make life-determining decisions.
1. Self-directed exploration
- Determine individual values, preferred activities, skills, personal characteristics and interests.
- Select major by combining insight gained through self-exploration with information about programs in different majors and career opportunities.
- The Center for Life Beyond Reed at Reed offers an interest survey (Strong Interest Survey) and a personality preference instrument (MBTI) along with advising to guide students through a process of self assessment. More...
2. Explore career options
- Research different careers. Browse or search our Center for Life Beyond Reed resource library online. Download guides from the Career Insider Online Library powered by VAULT. (These guides are industry-specific indepth looks at particular professions).
- Discover wide range of possibilities that could match individual values, skills, specific knowledge, characteristics and lifestyle preferences.
3. Make decisions
- Test decision by participating in related internship and work experiences.
- Conduct information interviews and/or job shadowing. Network with Alumni to learn more about your fields of interest.
- Select alternatives which seems to offer greatest possibility for self-fulfillment and success.
- Make informational interviewing a primary activity to better understand employment options and gain industry tips.
4. Prepare for the transition
- Attend many of the programs offered through the Center for Life Beyond Reed to help get started. Check out our calendar for upcoming events.
- Set long-term and short term-goals.
- Prepare an effective resume targeting employment that will advance professional goals.
- Gain experience and contacts through volunteer work, internships and other work experience.
- Recognize and overcome obstacles to achieving goals.
- Apply to postgraduate internship, apprenticeship, training program, grant/residency (if applicable).
- Research graduate programs and make early applications (if applicable).
- Take courses to explore occupational interests and develop technical skills.
5. Make the transition from college to life after college
- Conduct an effective job search - the Center for Life Beyond Reed staff are available to coach job seekers.
- Carefully evaluate and accept job offer that offers goal advancement.
- Select postgraduate internship, apprenticeship, training program, grant, residency or service opportunity.
- Select a graduate school after thorough research (if applicable).
- Volunteer in the local community as a meaningful way to contribute and gain both personal and professional rewards.
6. Evaluate your decision, establish a satisfying life after college
- Evaluate degree to which your choices meet expectations.
- Establish lifestyle and new community of friends/colleagues.
- Reaffirm or revise existing goals.
- Return to Tools for Career Decision Making and set new goals.
To schedule a meeting with a career counselor: call 503.777.7550.