Career Planning

The key to the career decision-making process is making well thought out decisions through careful career planning.

Knowing your skills, values and life focus along with your career and major options will get you #onestepcloser to a career that you will find satisfying.

Visit CareerLINK to access information on career workshops, employer information sessions and career counseling availability.

Major or Career Decision Process

The following steps provide a systematic process for clarifying career goals and deciding on a major or a career. Following these steps can help you identify a major you'd like to study or occupations in which there is a high probability for success and satisfaction. You move through the process when you are ready to do so, and you may move back and forth between steps at any given time.

The PROCESS involves:

  • Identify skills, interests, values and other factors that will influence your decision.
  • Take vocational assessments and have results interpreted by a career counselor.
  • Seek help from the Career Development Center (CDC).

Consider using the following CDC services for Step 1:
Individual career counseling and vocational assessments, Choices computer career guidance program (Assessments: Learn About Yourself section), EUREKA computer guidance program (MicroSkills or Occ-U-Sort section).

  • Use the CDC's Career Resource Library to research careers/majors
  • Conduct informational interviews
  • Obtain related/internship experience
  • Conduct internet search on careers
  • Learn about job requirements, employment trends, selection of appropriate major

The following CDC services will help you with STEP 2:
Explore Choices (Occupations with Post-Secondary Schools section) and Eureka (Occupations section), visit CDC Career Resource Library, attend job fairs, obtain a Major/Career Profile from CDC, research internships (paid or unpaid).

  • Organize personal assessment and career/major research information
  • Develop systematic approach for analyzing data
  • Discuss findings with career counselor

The following services can be of assistance in Step 3:
Schedule an appointment with a career counselor, visit the CDC Career Resource Library, and/or consult with department academic advisor.

  • Weigh the information
  • Identify alternatives that offer the best positive outcome
  • Conduct additional research as needed
  • Change, add, delete information if necessary
  • Develop a short list of possible careers

Use the following CDC services and resources: Step 4:
Visit CDC Career Resource Library and Internship Program Office, attend CDC sponsored job fairs, conduct informational interviews, meet with a career counselor, use the computerized guidance programs: Eureka, Choices, and/or Bridges.

  • Focus attention on short list of possible careers
  • Evaluate and consider possible outcome, consequences and probability
  • May need to revise, modify or redirect
  • Select a primary and secondary career option
  • Selection is based on what career is best suited for you at this time in your life
  • Maintain an open mind to new and changing factors that may impact your career choices
  • Seek help from a career counselor
  • Remember: What you decide today will probably not be your lifelong career; it's just the beginning
  • Develop and implement a plan or strategy for attaining your goal
  • Meet with a career counselor
  • Set timelines
  • Obtain appropriate education/training
  • Build resume and develop interviewing skills
  • Obtain employment, i.e. internship, part-time, volunteer or full-time
  • Use placement services of CDC, i.e. On-Campus Interviews (OCI), Internship Program, Student Employment
  • Attend CDC workshops on resume writing, interviewing, conducting a job search and/or applying for graduate school
  • Join student and/or professional organization(s)
  • Identify a mentor
  • Periodically re-evaluate your career decision

Career Timeline

What is a Career Timeline?

A career timeline from your freshman to senior year is a series of career related activities that will enhance your academic experience while preparing you for your professional life after graduation.

Why Follow a Career Timeline?

  • Students state that active participation in career related jobs/activities has assisted them in identifying a major that best suits them.
  • You have the opportunity to build a "network" of professionals who can provide you with information about the industry and leads for future employment.
  • Employers consistently state that students who gain experience throughout their college experience are bettered prepared to compete for the best jobs.

How Do I Get Started?

We recommend that you devise your career plan based on your current academic level. For a list of activities related to your academic level, select from the following:

It is really never too early to get started. Your timing is great!

  • Enroll in a career exploration course. CDC staff can help you find one.
  • Attend Job Fairs to meet professionals and learn about occupations/internships/jobs.
  • Review the CDC workshops/Events Calendar for workshops on choosing a major/career.
  • Conduct informational interviews with faculty, family, and the Alumni Network to learn more about specific careers.
  • Schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor to discuss appropriate career assessments that will help you to identify majors/careers compatible with your personal traits.
  • Visit the CDC Employment Web site to arrange for an internship or part-time job during the academic year and/or summer that will help you develop professionalwork habits, networks of professionals for future references, realistic perspectives of the professional work environment and multiple experiences to build a competitive resume.

Should you have additional questions, make an appointment with a career counselor, visit the CDC BH 250 talk with a drop-in counselor or send an emailto a CDC Counselor.

  • Take an introductory course in the major you are exploring
  • If you are still not clear about the major you want to pursue, schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor to discuss appropriate career assessments that will help you identify majors/careers that best suit you.
  • Attend Job Fairs to meet employers and discuss career paths.
  • Research occupations/careers of interest by visiting the CDC Resource Library.
  • Conduct informational interviews with faculty, family, and the Alumni Network to learn more about specific careers.
  • Visit the CDC Employment Web site to arrange for an internship or part-time job during the academic year and/or summer that will help you develop.
  • Professional work habits
  • Networks of professionals for future references
  • Realistic perspectives of the professional work environment.
  • Multiple experiences to build a competitive resume.

Should you have additional questions, make an appointment with a career counselor, visit the CDC BH 250 to talk with a drop-in counselor or send an emailto a CDC Counselor.

Keep up the good work. You're increasing your competitive edge and have a little more to go.

  • Schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor if you have any doubts about your major or career selection and/or enroll in a career exploration course for undecided upper division students
  • Join a student organization supporting your major/career choice
  • Attend all of the Job Fairs, talk with employers to build confidence and submit resumes for part- time and internship positions
  • Register for elective classes that will enhance your employment options
  • Get to know faculty, counselors, and administration
  • Attend CDC workshops on resumes, interviews, and job search techniques

Visit the CDC Employment Web site to arrange for an internship or part-time job during the academic year and/or summer that will help you develop.

  • Professional work habits
  • Networks of professionals for future references
  • Realistic perspectives of the professional work environment
  • Multiple experiences to build a competitive resume

Should you have additional questions, make an appointment with a career counselor, visit the CDC in BH 250, talk with a drop-in counselor or send an email to a CDC Counselor

Congratulations! You've done a splendid job and you're ready to beat the competition.

  • Schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor to discuss your commitment to your major/ career selection and design a specific campaign to obtain employment upon graduation.
  • Attend workshops on resumes, interviews, and job search techniques.
  • Attend all Job Fairs to network, distribute resumes and discuss employment opportunities. Continue your membership in your Student Association to build and maintain your network of professionals.
  • During your last semester, register for On-Campus Interviews (OCI) Interviews to interview for full-time professional positions and, visit the CDC Employment Web site to arrange for full-time employment upon graduation.
  • Develop professional work habits, networks of professionals for future references and realistic perspectives of the professional work environment.
  • Have multiple experiences to build a competitive resume
  • Contact Faculty and Administrators to arrange for letter of reference.
  • Join the most active professional association related to your career goals.

Should you have additional questions, make an appointment with a career counselor, visit the CDC BH 250, talk with a drop-in counselor or send an email to a CDC Counselor

Assessments

Need help identifying your interests, personality type, strengths, and values?  Assessments can be used to help you decide which career or major best fits with these factors. Many of these factors will change with time and may need to be revisited at different points in your life. Some of these factors can be found through career assessments.

Begin asking yourself:

  • What do I like to do (interests)? 
  • Who am I and how do I related to others (personality)?
  • What do I do well and what do I want to develop (strengths)?
  • What is important to me (values)?

CaliforniaColleges.edu - the official source for college and career planning in California

Explore hundreds of careers and focus on those matching the characteristics you want. Research careers related to subjects that you enjoy the most and identify which majors best match your interests. Take interests, values and skills assessments that will help you find the right career.

Strong Interest Inventory

The Strong Interest Inventory® assessment is one of the world’s most widely respected and frequently used career planning tools. The assessment will help you identify the interests that will hold your attention through college and beyond. The Strong assessment is an ideal tool for:

  • Choosing a college major—helps students uncover their career interests and identify which areas of study are appropriate or required for a particular field
  • Career exploration—opens up the world of work to first-time career seekers and those considering career transition by identifying their interests and demonstrating how they relate to various occupations and careers
  • Career development—helps heighten individuals’ self-awareness and provide deeper understanding of individual strengths and blind spots, including work style and risk-taking orientation
How to take this assessment:
  1. Schedule a Career Counseling Appointment OR Attend a Strong Interest Inventory Group Workshop
  2. Receive the instructions for taking the assessment online.
  3. The assessment takes about 45 minutes and will need to be completed TWO business days prior to your appointment or session.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment has helped millions of people worldwide gain insights about themselves and how they interact with others—and improve how they communicate, learn, and work. The MBTI assessment is ideal for:

  • Career planning and exploration—helps guide individuals on career choice and career development
How to take this assessment:
  1. Schedule a Career Counseling Appointment OR Attend an Personality Assessment (MBTI) Workshop
  2. Receive the instructions for taking the assessment online.
  3. The assessment takes about 45 minutes and will need to be completed TWO business days prior to your appointment or session.

StrengthsQuest

Finding a job that is a good fit for your talents is a key part of the career exploration process. Gallup research has found that employees who have the opportunity to use their strengths are six times as likely to be engaged in their work and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life than employees who don't get to focus on what they do best.

Through StrengthsQuest, you'll gain insight into your areas of greatest potential: the things that you naturally do best. StrengthsQuest won't tell you what job or career you should do. But it does provide valuable information about who you are and gives you clues to the type of work environment in which you are most likely to thrive.

How to take this assessment:
  1. Schedule a Career Counseling Appointment
  2. Receive the instructions for taking the assessment online.
  3. The assessment takes about 45 minutes and will need to be completed TWO business days prior to your appointment.