You may describe yourself by talking about what you enjoy doing in your spare time such as, "I like computers" or "I enjoy hiking and cycling." You might talk about your job, in which case you may respond with, "I wash and detail cars on the weekends." Maybe your response has more to do with your personality - "I'm very social. I love to hang out with my friends and family."
Now, when someone asks you what you want to do for a living, what do you say? You may know exactly what you want to do, and respond with "I want to be a chef" or "I want to be a physical therapist." Perhaps you aren't sure, but have a general interest like "Something to do with helping people in need." On the other hand, you could be completely overwhelmed or even disinterested because you think "I don't know. There probably aren't any jobs related to what I like to do..."
These are very normal responses. With career exploration, there are so many things to consider: training or education; number of jobs available; how much money you will earn (and does this match your desired lifestyle); and what exactly will you do when you are working?
These thoughts could make anyone's head spin, yet career exploration can be a rewarding and positive experience. Take time for a holistic approach to career exploration instead. Not only is it self-fulfilling, but it will likely help you avoid a career/ personality mismatch or unwanted frustration down the road.
When planning your career, one of the most important things you need to consider is how the type of work fits with your personality, your likes and dislikes, and the characteristics that make up who you are. If your career search is based solely on earning a lot of money, but you hate the work, how happy will you be doing it for 30+ years?
Alternatively, what if you take a job simply because it's available and you don't know what you want? Are you setting yourself up for survival mode instead of thriving after taking an unexplored or unforeseen job opportunity? Career exploration enables you to take control and makes your work more rewarding.
So, where to start? Right here! Inside this magazine you will find information on different types of industries, jobs, and the training or education required, as well as career exploration websites and internships.
By actively exploring your career options, you are taking a step towards using your natural talents and abilities to be successful and happy in the workplace. Take that first step today!
Visit these career exploration sites for more information:
oregoncis.uoregon.edu is a home to the Oregon Career Information System. The name says it all. This site contains a wealth of information on careers, including where to get training, skill needed, financial aid information, and career assessments to help you narrow your career search.
www.MyPathCareers.org is a career exploration site that helps Oregon teens and 20-somethings get the training and education they need to have the life they want. Find salary and training comparisons for 250+ careers you could have, or browse 450+ videos and photo diaries from real people, in real careers, across Oregon.
www.MyNextMove.org has tasks, skills, salary information, and more for over 900 different careers. Or explore the O*NET Interest Profiler, a tool that offers personalized career suggestions based on a person's interests and level of work experience.
Identify jobs that require similar skills and knowledge to their current or previous job, learn about these suggested matches, locate local training programs, and/or apply for jobs.