Career Exploration

studentWith the endless career possibilities in today’s job market, it is not surprising that you may feel overwhelmed about deciding on a career. Simply put, people have limited knowledge on the range of career possibilities that are available. Career exploration allows you to begin discovering all the opportunities you have once you have completed your academics. Do not think that career exploration is only for seniors or undeclared students. All students benefit from career exploration and the sooner the better! By gaining an early understanding of the professional world, you can be proactive about gaining experience which will build your skills, resume and preparation for your future career.

Due to the vastness of the potential careers that are available, it is best to look at career exploration as a two part process to avoid being overwhelmed. The first part is examining and the second part is experiencing. The table below provides you with tasks to breakdown the career exploration process even further. 

Examining Experiencing
Browse Resources – utilize all the information that is available to you online.  Volunteer – serving in your community gives you a different perspective on issues and allows you to develop skills, while contributing to the needs of others. 
Visit NMU Career Services  – the staff are trained to assist you, provide you with resources and educate you on building a resume. Job Shadow – arrange to observe a professional to get exposure to the field and gain insight on how your skills fit into the career. Career Services and faculty from specific departments can assist with job shadowing experiences. 
Get Involved – being an active student on campus will provide you with different opportunities as well as develop your skills in communication, teamwork and leadership. Attend career fairs – gaining exposure to organizations and companies can educate you about potential jobs. 
Talk with ACAC Staff and Faculty – discussing your interests with others will likely lead them to refer you to information and resources that you are unfamiliar with. Internships – working within a profession is the best way to learn if the field is for you. Career Services and faculty from specific departments can provide resources to help find internships. 
Attend Campus/Community Programs – exposing yourself to new activities, thoughts or opinions allows you to discover your true interests and what is important to you. Study abroad – experiencing different cultures shows you to new ideas and new beliefs. Employers see someone who is independent, flexible and able to adapt. REMEMBER: Study abroad trips range from a few weeks to semester long. You should be able to find one that fits your academic plan.