Career assessments can provide you with a more realistic appraisal of yourself. They will help you clarify your values, interests, skills, and activities that interest you. Assessments are used to narrow down career options and help you know where to begin your career exploration. Career Services offers two such instruments to help you narrow your educational and career options.
FOCUS is a valuable career assessment tool for everyone. FOCUS can help you decide on career goals and action plans by increasing your awareness of your talents, interests, values, personality and potential for success in certain careers. Complete the FOCUS assessment and then contact the Career Center to sit down with a career counselor to review your results.
- There is only one right career for me.
Although a certain occupation may provide a close fit in terms of your values, interests and personality, there are many others that will prove just as appealing and offer you the opportunity for professional growth. Concentrating on finding the “perfect” career may lead to needless anxiety.
- Those close to me know me well so they must know what occupation is best for me.
Those who know you well will be able to provide valuable feedback that you should consider as you plan your career. But keep in mind that the choice you make should be your own. In fact if you get some objections from family and friends, take that as a sign that you are thinking for yourself and that’s a good thing. Your career decisions should be based on your own interests, values, preferences and personality and not those of other people.
- Career testing or a career counselor will tell me what career is right for me.
You are the real expert when it comes to knowing yourself. No assessment or career counselor can tell you what is the right career decision for you. A test will not give you one answer. A test may help narrow your options but the options will still be grouped into categories like “helping others.” Career testing is a tool to assist you in decision making. A career counselor can help by interpreting the results, providing information, and clarifying issues. The decision is yours.
- Once I commit to a major or occupation there will be no turning back.
A large number of students change majors during their first year in college as they realize their original choice was not the appropriate one for them. Most Americans pursue three to five different occupations in their lifetimes. You will be learning and changing your whole life. There are many variables that cause people to change directions and go a different direction.
- Some lucky individuals decide on an occupation early in life and don’t need to spend time exploring other options.
An early career decision is not an indicator of future career satisfaction. Deciding too early and doing no exploration may cause them to end up in careers that do not provide long term satisfaction. It is always best to explore options.
- There is only one specific major for each specific career.
Some fields such as engineering, nursing, education require very specific skills and therefore a specific major. However, in most instances a major can lead to many different careers. For example, an English major who has developed good writing and research skills could be employed as a journalist, magazine editor, grant writer, or advertising executive. Make sure to develop transferable skills through your school work, internships, part-time employment and volunteer work. These, in addition to your degree, will make you more marketable in the work place.