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The Four Steps of Exploring Your Career Options

The Four Steps of Exploring Your Career Options

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© 2011, Dr. Thomas J. Denham, Careers In Transition LLC

Self-assessment is the building block and foundation of career development.  If you carefully “pour a strong foundation,” you will be able to construct a vibrant and satisfying work life.  It is the first step in the process of finding the right job and career.  Finding the career that is your best match is dependent on the intersection of four key traits unique to you: 1) Skills, 2) Values, 3) Interests and 4) What’s the next step after conducting a thorough summary of the data from the self-assessment phase?

In the career exploration stage, you begin to discover where your top skills, values, interests and personality can be put to work.  A report by the Gallup organization found that more than 72% of respondents stated that if they could start over, they would get more information about their career options.  By taking a battery of self-assessment inventories especially the Campbell Interest and Skill Survey®, Strong Interest Inventory®, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and the DiSC® Profile, you can create an exhaustive list of possible career and job options.  Perhaps this list will be 25 jobs or more.  That’s fine.  Next, you will want to narrow down this extensive list to what I refer to as your Top Ten List for Career Exploration.  At first this list will be in no particular order.

Now you are ready to begin to explore these options.  The goal in this step is to gather data and evaluate vocational information that matches your self-assessment results to determine where you should put your energies in the pursuit of the right job targets.  Remember, at this point in the process your only commitment is to learn more about what interests you and the available opportunities out there.  Based on my experience as a practicing career counselor, there is a four step method to discover what you want to do with your life and become more “occupationally literate.”


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