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Steps to Exploring Careers

“So what do you want to be when you grow up?”  Every one of us has been asked that question at some point in our life.  Few people are fortunate enough to know exactly what career they want to pursue.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker currently holds ten different jobs before age forty, and this number is projected to grow. Forrester Research predicts that today’s youngest workers will hold twelve to fifteen jobs in their lifetime.  That said, it is important to explore different career options that match your personality, interests, values, and skills.  Careers that reflect your personality, interests, values, and skills are much more fulfilling both professionally and personally and tend to lead to a  long-term career, not short-term jobs.

When exploring one’s career options, it is critically important to first identify your personality, interests, values, and skills and link those to potential careers.  The following five (5) steps will help you pinpoint prospective careers, explore these opportunities, and identify educational requirements needed for that profession.  This is not a quick process and requires thoughtful reflection and research on your part.  The five steps are as follows:

  1. Current Mesalands Community College students and first-year alumni can visit with the Director of Career Services and explore various career options through the use of different inventories. These inventories will assist you by matching various professions to your personality, interests, values, and skills. The following inventories are available at the Mesalands Career Services Center (A126).  Review each one to determine which one(s) would work best for you.

    Make an appointment with the Director of Career Services (by emailing tomm@mesalands.edu or phoning (575.461.4413, ext. 120) to take any of these inventories.

  2. Once you have identified various career options (or what is sometimes called Career Clusters) via the results of your inventories, you can begin researching different professions with the goal of developing a clear career path. Use http://www.iseek.org/careers/cluster-pathway.html to explore these career options.
  3. In addition to or in lieu of step #1 identified above, you can complete a quick on-line career exploration questionnaire at mynextmove.org that will help you find out what your interests are and how they relate to the world of work, i.e., different careers. This O*NET Interest Profiler helps you decide what kinds of careers you might want to explore.
  4. Once you identify possible careers of interest, you can learn much more about those and many other occupations at onetonline.org.
  5. Current Mesalands Community College students and first-year alumni can contact the Career Services Center (tomm@mesalands.edu or 575.461.4413, ext. 120) for assistance with individual career exploration.

Additional services available to qualified students and alumni include the following:

  • résumé writing
  • cover letter critiques
  • interview preparations
  • job search strategies