Finding a Meaningful Career

Regardless of your stage of life, the process of career development is ongoing and continuously evolving. Because career development involves a cycle of reflection and continuous improvement, we represent it not as a linear path but as a circle.

In each cycle of career development, you go through a process of getting to know yourself, exploring options, getting focused and taking action.

Know Yourself

  • Identify your values, interests, strengths, traits, and ambitions.
  • Reflect on what you value in a career.
  • Use self-assessments to begin to answer some of these questions and reflect on what they mean to you and how they relate to your career goals.

Explore Options

  • Explore potential career paths that relate to your skills, education and interests.
  • Find career information on job tasks, education and training, pay, and projected outlook for occupations using the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  • Explore possible career options for different majors you're considering using the What Can I Do With This Major? tool.
  • Talk with people who work in fields that interest you through low-pressure informational interviewing.

Get Focused

  • Begin to create an action plan. You can begin to create a plan whether you have settled on a major, a general industry or field, or a specific niche within that field.
  • Create goals and start to make choices for how to achieve them.
  • Ask questions and conduct research to discover the information, skills, certifications or people in your network that you need to reach your career goals.
  • Learn how to present your skills and accomplishments with language that will resonate with employers

Take Action

  • Create your job search “toolkit," consisting of your resume or CV, cover letter(s), personal statement, LinkedIn profile, and self-introduction or "elevator speech"
    • Have a career coach or advisor review your documents to make sure they are ready to show to potential employers
  • Begin applying for jobs you are genuinely interested in
  • Prepare for interviews: Mock Interviews & Using the S.T.A.R. Approach
  • Evaluate job offers: research salaries and benefits, negotiate, how to accept or reject an offer