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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 personal characteristics 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 activities can 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 following interactive websites can help you identify possible careers based on your personality, interests, values, and skills:

  • This site allows you to search careers using keys words, browse careers by industry, and/or perform a quick career exploration questionnaire (O*NET Interest Profiler) that will help match your interests to the world of work, i.e., different careers.

  • Prospective students, local High Schools, Outreach (Click the Sign Up button and use access code:  mesalands-welcome)

  • An all-inclusive site to explore various careers based on your interests is the SuperStrong Interest Inventory. (Click the Sign Up button and use access code:  mesalands-career)

  • A U.S. Department of Labor all-inclusive source for career exploration, training, and jobs.

  • Assists veterans to find civilian careers similar to their military jobs by entering the name or code of their military classification.

  • This U.S. Department of Labor site assists ex-offenders in their job search efforts as it relates to the various challenges they will encounter.

  • After identifying a specific career of interest, this site will provide detailed information on that career.

Current Mesalands Community College students and first-year alumni can also visit with 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 (A102).  Review each one to determine which one(s) would work best for you.

Make an appointment with Career Services by emailing [email protected] or by phoning Rose at (575) 461-4413, ext. 117 to take any of these inventories as well as for assistance with individualized career exploration.

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

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