Are you headed along the right path to your dream career? Like any adventure, your career journey is certain to be much more exciting and satisfying if you have a destination in mind. When you are focused and know your strengths and interests, you can target the industries, organizations and positions that best match your talents and personality.
Your immediate goal should be to make the best career choices possible at this point in your life. Keep in mind, it’s only natural that your dreams and aspirations may change over time. Changing interests and personal circumstances, combined with the rapidly evolving nature of the world of work, will require you to make numerous career-related decisions throughout your lifetime.
Career Action Plan
ENGAGE: Know yourself & your interests
CONNECT: Explore career options to find your fit
- Get advice from professionals and faculty, arrange informational interviews and job shadowing experiences, and test all of your career options to identify what you enjoy doing for your major and job
- Attend Career Panels and talk with family, friends, faculty or alumni about career and academic options
- Access RockyLink for on-campus and off-campus part-time jobs, internships and full-time jobs
- Create LinkedIn Profile with academic and work experiences, join "UNC Asheville Career Connection" and professional association groups and invite faculty, alumni, employers, family and friends to develop your network
- Speak with professors about shared intellectual interests and research graduate school programs
- Identify job trends by reviewing professional publications and websites to gain industry knowledge
EXPERIENCE: Get experience to develop skills
- Participate in extracurricular and leadership activities, internships, co-ops or research opportunities that will develop the skills, knowledge and experience you need to reach your career goals
- Attend job fairs to meet with employers from a variety of internship programs and visit the Career Center website to learn about requirements for academic credit and learning objectives
- Access RockyLink to customize and activate the Search Agent to receive interest specific emails about internships and full time jobs
- Update LinkedIn profile with professional picture and qualifications and reach out to contacts to access the "hidden job market."
PREPARE: Market yourself for internships, jobs & graduate schools
- Sell skills and strengths through targeted marketing materials (resume, cover letter, portfolio and LinkedIn Profile) and self-promotion activities (networking, informational interviews and interviewing)
- Research employers and jobs that use your skills and would be a good fit for your preferred career goals
- Update RockyLink account
- Attend job fairs, career panels, employer information sessions and other events to network with employers
- Prepare graduate school application if career choice requires an advanced degree; write personal statement, check admissions requirements, testing dates and timelines
- Ask professors, advisors and supervisors to serve as your employment/graduate school references
- Practice effective interview skills by participating in mock interviews and send thank you emails after interviewing
- Update social media sites including LinkedIn to connect with your network of supporters
Other Career Exploration Links:
- Occupational Outlook Handbook- General Occupational Information. Great resource for researching career options.
- O*NET Occupational Information
- NC Department of Commerce Division of Employment Security - Career Management Tools
- Career OneStop - US Department of Labor
- CityTownInfo.com contains a Career Directory that offers an extensive set of employment data organized by both profession and city location. You can explore career options by: Finding cities offering the strongest opportunities for a selected profession; Finding professions in a city paying the best relative to national trends and that are most popular; Learning about a city's demographics, economics, culture, schools, housing, climate, and more; Discovering new relocation possibilities through CityTownInfo's innovative PlaceMatch feature.
- College Foundation of North Carolina Career Center
- The Riley Guide
- America's Career InfoNet
- Richard Bolles: What Color is Your Parachute?
- JobWeb Career Library
- Quintessential Careers: College, Careers, and Job Guide
- Inside Jobs - Discover new career opportunities and paths that take you there.
- Overview of the US Job Market - The more you know about industry and occupational trends, the better you can assess what skills and qualifications employers are seeking, evaluate your odds of entry and success, and learn how to market yourself.
For individual assistance to help you make your career connections, please contact the Career Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828.251.6515 to schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor.
Last edited by email@example.com on October 18, 2013