When it comes to effective career planning (i.e., choosing a career), there are two initial steps that will help:

  • Self assessment: the process of learning about yourself, including your identity, your stage of life, and your skills and interests. 
  • Occupational research: the process of gathering information to learn more about fields and occupations that fit your interests, skills, and values.

What do I know about myself? Clarifying your values, interests, skills, and traits is the first step to identifying educational and career options. Discovery questions & prompts designed to facilitate meaningful reflection: 

  • When have you felt a sense of pride? How do the skills you used to achieve these accomplishments relate to careers?
  • What jobs, hobbies, co-curricular or service opportunities have you enjoyed?
  • What do you find yourself daydreaming about?
  • What topics or courses have captivated you most?
  • What type of problems do you enjoy solving?
  • How have you made other decisions in your life? Are there aspects of this approach that can help clarify your career interests?
  • What skills have you developed in academic courses, experiential learning, and independent projects? 

As you consider your responses, look for themes that reveal insights into who you are to direct your next step in your career path.