Research and exploration are vital components to career development. Information is a job seekers best friend – the more you know about yourself, your options, employment industries, companies/organizations, salaries, etc the more likely you will make a smart, informed decision about your career.
Use the following steps to help you conduct your career research. If you have already finished a step, then you can simply move on to the next one.
Step 1 – Self Assessment
The first step is to understand who you are, what skills you possess, how your personality fits with potential careers, and what you value in a potential career. This is the process of self-assessment – take the online FOCUS Career Assessment system and meet with a Career Coach to discuss the results.
Step 2 – Explore Majors
Once you have an idea of your skills, interests, and values related to potential careers, you should look to explore the various major programs here at the University of New Haven. Be sure to read about the major, examine the scope of classes offered, and begin to understand the major learning outcomes of the program. Match this information up with what you know about yourself.University of New Haven – Academic Programs
Additionally, you can begin to explore the potential career paths that each major has to offer. Check out the following page that describes What Can I Do With A Major In?
During this entire process, an experienced staff member from the Career Development Center can work with you to help direct your exploration of majors, ask pertinent questions to keep you on track, and connect you with faculty, alumni, and other professionals to help explore the field.
Step 3 – Explore Careers
There are a number of ways to begin exploring careers – each is a useful tool to help you figure out a potential career path. The idea here again is to develop a mental database of what types of career paths are available to you, and to discern whether those careers are right for you.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a great resource for learning about careers. This website allows you to enter a career type and will provide basic information about that career including:
- Nature of the Work – a general overview of what this career type is all about
- Working Conditions – where does the work take place, and what does it feel like (is it an office based job or do you work outdoors? Is the work fast-paced, or more deliberate?
- Education and Training Required
- The Outlook for the Career - is it a growing career or a declining career?
- Earnings Potential
- Sources of additional information
O*Net Career Information Portal
O*Net Online is an information portal for thousands of occupations. The database is searchable by keywords or you can browse through listings of careers by industry cluster. The system allows you to compare careers side by side, and provides detailed information on the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for success in that career. It even identifies careers by Holland Code Type, which is one the outcomes of taking the FOCUS Career Assessment.
Informational Interviewing is the process whereby a job seeker contacts a working professional in a desired career and interviews them. This allows the job seeker to ask questions about a particular career and here it straight from a knowledgeable source. The job seeker gains a wealth of knowledge and develops a new personal contact as well. The University of New Haven Career Development Center can connect you with alumni and other professionals in numerous career fields, and will help prepare you for the informational interview. Contact the Career Development Center for assistance.