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Career Exploration

Shortly after self assessment comes the second phase of the career planning process: Career Exploration. It is only after careful self assessment after which you can move on to this stage. Just to jog your memory, you already have an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses, your values, personality, and interests. Based on the results from the initial stage you must have brainstormed on various careers that go hand in hand with who you are. Here you are given the opportunity to evaluate the careers in that list. The end of this stage is to leave you with one career option which is ideal for you. Refrain from deleting any career from the list until you have exhaustively conducted research on it. You may be surprised at what you may find out regarding a career you thought you knew everything about.

Start With the Basics

Initially, all you need is general background knowledge about the various careers. Assuming your list contains ten professions. A preliminary search should be conducted on all the 10 careers which you should be able to considerably narrow down. Basic information that you should be keen on are things such as job outlook, job descriptions, employment statistics, training requirements as well as the earnings. The following resources are ideal for generating the general information:

  • Additional Career Information Resources
  • Career Briefs
  • Careers By Field

After the preliminary study you will find several professions in the list that do not appeal. For instance, they demand too much while the pay does not suffice. You may be put off by the employment statistics. As you narrow your options more and more you may be left with only three careers which are appealing.

Delve Deeper

Having narrowed down your choices you can make your research more detailed and more involving. You should strive your best to know the nitty gritty of the careers without particularly being involved. This can be achieved by interacting with people who are in those professions:

  • Using your network to generate a list of people employed in fields you are interested in.
  • Secure an interview with them.
  • Enquire as to whether he or she would mind you hanging around and following around in the office.

At the end of the in-depth research you should have concrete knowledge as to which career is ideal if not ‘tailor made’ for you. If you can’t make a decision after delving dipper, take your time and do more self reflection.