Thursday, June 3, 2010

Finding your fit: An exercise in career exploration

If you are finding yourself in a bind, struggling to decide on a major or a career, I suggest attempting an exercise I recently came across.  It won't take long and in doing so you may uncover some hidden interests, values, skills, etc.

Start by making a list of 10 accomplishments or achievements that have occurred throughout your lifetime, including even childhood events.  The point is to find ten things that left you with a good impression or feeling and that you enjoyed doing.

Then, of your list of ten, choose your favorite two.  For these two events/accomplishments, write a detailed description, including what took place, who was involved, skills it required, time taken, and the result or outcome of the event.  Be as detailed as possible.

Next, look back on your descriptions.  For even more feedback, discuss them with a friend or relative (or career advisor) and allow them to ask further questions about the accomplishments.  Consider the skills that you used for the event and how they may be applied to current careers or jobs.  The point in the activity is that by looking at accomplishments or events in your lifetime that brought you joy you will also uncover your interests, values, and skills that can be applied to the workplace.

Finally, find someone already in the position you are linking to and schedule an informational interview with them to get a feel for what a day on the job may entail.  Also look for classes/majors that may relate to your events/accomplishments as well.  In doing so you may stumble upon a true calling, or at least point yourself in a new and interesting direction...

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