Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Career Planning - Research

An important part of the Career Planning process is researching potential careers you are interested in so that you know what direction you are headed and can create a plan of action. After completing Self Assessments, you may find yourself still wondering if a particular career is right for you – this is where your hard work will pay off. While the research process might seem daunting, it is well worth the effort if you want to find a career that best suits you, one you are best suited for, and one that you will love doing!

Here are some tips and resources that can help you in the research process:

1.  Degree Exploration Guide – The Career Services Resource Centre has degree specific guides for each program at Brock. On these, you will find potential career options, information about where to look for jobs specific to your industry, professional associations (which can be paramount in helping you network, job search, and find the most current industry standards and information), as well as other information relating to your individual program. Our Degree Exploration Guides are also available online!

2.  Explore Career Cruising – You can simply search various careers that you want to know more about or you can complete the self-assessment (which I recommend!) and then click on the various job titles that Career Cruising generates for you. Find info about the job, education requirements, average salary, working conditions, as well as related careers! Visit Career Cruising through CareerZONE ("Resources" tab) or stop by the Resource Centre for help on getting started!

3.  Know Yourself – Career and Self-Assessments, such as Type Focus, are a great way to get to know your interests, personality, and values. Type Focus also allows you to explore occupations, set goals, and help you prepare for your job search. Getting to know yourself is crucial to the career planning process because it helps you narrow down what jobs you would enjoy doing and thrive in.

4.  Attend Career Events – Your faculty may have a “Careers Night” where individuals come in and tell you about the career path that they followed using their degree. In addition, Career Services also attends or hosts events on campus throughout the year that can help you gain imperative information about a specific career or company. Check the CareerZONE events calender throughout the year, or contact your faculty’s program coordinator or adviser, to learn about upcoming events!

5.  Ask Questions – The more you ask, the more you will know! It never hurts to ask questions because you want to know as much as possible about a career before you make any concrete plans (i.e. What level of education is needed and in which subject? What is the average salary? Are there opportunities for advancement?). Information Interviews can be a great way of getting to know a little more about a specific career, or even a company. This involves contacting someone in a position you are interested in and arranging a meeting to pick their brain about some of your most salient questions. For more information and “tips” about an Information Interview, stop by the Resource Centre and grab our Information Interviews Quick Tip!

While this is not an exhaustive list, the points I have mentioned should get you well on your way to planning your next steps for your future career. 

Jami Coughler, Senior Career Assistant
4th Year Public Health (Honours)

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