Deciding on a career that interests you may seem daunting, but an easy first step to take is to do some career and self-exploration. This toolkit will guide you through the process of reflecting on your own career values, exploring career interests, and develop a plan to gain experience.
Download the Toolkit or work through the activities below.
This is the most crucial step in the decision-making process as all other decisions will be based on where your natural strengths, skills, and interests are based. You can use this knowledge to consider appropriate majors, research potential career fields, draft a competitive resume, and explain your qualifications to employers effectively. Complete these activities to assess your skills, values, and reflect on what you hope to achieve with your career.
Your Memoir - Use this resource to reflect on your larger life goals. What would you like to accomplish? How will you be remembered? What will your legacy be?
Explore Your Values - Values represent what is important and necessary in your life and work to make it meaningful and enjoyable. Identifying your values can offer a solid foundation for how you evaluate career options that fit with your values, skills, and interests.
Identify Your Skills - Can you articulate your marketable skills? Every experience is an opportunity to gain or fine tune a skill, no matter how small or big the task. Utilize this resource to reflect on the skills you already possess and determine which skills you would like to acquire.
Explore Career Options
College majors do not indicate a specific career path; rather, you have many options to consider while exploring your academic and career interests. Learn about occupations and career fields that might be a good fit with your interests, natural abilities, personal values, and overall personality characteristics and start preparing to apply for opportunities.
Eliminate Industries - BSOS majors gain skills that make them marketable for so many different jobs. Get started by researching all of the career paths that BSOS majors are eligible for and determining which industries do and do not pique your interest.
Identify Career Priorities - Individuals who have a congruence between their career values, interests, knowledge, and skills and the job they perform experience high career satisfaction. Use this resource to reflect on your career priorities and how these priorities align with jobs of interest.
Make a Plan
After completing the “Assess Yourself” and “Explore Career Options” activities, you will have gained a better understanding of yourself as well as the world of work. You now have the knowledge you need to make an informed decision regarding your next steps. Test out potential industries of interest through part-time jobs, internships, volunteering, or co-curricular activities. In this stage, you may also declare your major and develop a plan for how to test out career options and build your network of professional contacts.
Additional Career Exploration Resources
- What Can I Do With My Major, curated career guides for each BSOS major
- Develop a Career Plan, a road map of suggested activities to help you be successful post-graduation
- Occupational Outlook Handbook, a career title dictionary
- O*NET Online, the nation's primary source of occupational information
- FOCUS2, explore career paths using self-assessment questionnaires
- Career Guides: FirstHand, browse 100’s of industry guides to gain inside tips