Career Research

Step 1: Research

Okay, you’ve completed your undergraduate degree…but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what you want to do, where you want to do it, or how to even begin exploring potential career fields. Many students feel immense pressure to be certain of exactly what they want to do and how they’re going to do it after graduation. However, before you can even begin exploring career opportunities, you need to identify your personal career goals. 

Having already identified your skills and values, you can use them to identify career goals. Take into consideration your Holland Skills Theme Code, and the peak experiences exercise. What values are most important to you in a work environment? What skills would you like to use/learn in your future workplace?

Now is the time to research what fields of study might be a “fit” for those skills and values. Using the links you’ll find below, you can begin to research careers using that information.

Once you have info on careers, ask yourself the following:

  • What skills do I have in common with people in  this career
  • What do I like, that people in this career also like?
  • What personality traits might I have in common?
  • What are some related occupations that are more appealing (In the Occupational Outlook Handbook, you will find “related occupations”)?

Step 2: Informational interviews

Once you have identified a career or two that you’d really like to explore, it’s incredibly helpful to conduct an information interview.  This scary term really means “have a conversation” with someone in your field of interest– a chat over a cup of coffee, perhaps.

How do you approach finding someone for an info interview? 

Ask faculty, friends, family and do research through LinkedIn and professional associations (remember, you often can find associations in the Occupational Outlook Handbook‘s resources).  

You will be asked to do informational interviews as part of networking for a job, why not start now by conducting an information interview to learn more about your target field?

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