Career Development Process »
Career Development Process Icon that is infinity symbol.

You’ve found your purpose, now it’s time to focus and prepare.

Identify common themes or patterns and narrow options by eliminating those that do not align with your self-awareness. Learn what qualifications are needed for those fields and develop manageable goals and next steps.

Here, find curated information on the following topics:

  • Explore Your Interests / Self Assessment, and
  • Build My Network

Or, visit communities for any of these topics directly:

Explore Your Interests / Self Assessment Build My Network

Here, explore skills that map to this stage of the process:

  • Self-Awareness 
  • Relationship Development
  • Communication

Or, visit communities for any of these topics directly:

Self Awareness Goal Setting / PlanningRelationship Development

Answer on your own and/or discuss with a mentor or adviser

  • How do you like to make decisions? How have you approached making important decisions in your life? Do you like to make lists, journal or talk to people?
  • What options are exciting to you? Why?
  • What option(s) does not align with your values, interests, strengths and skills? Do you want to still pursue this option? Why or why not?
  • Do you need a specific degree, certification or skill to get started in this field?
  • What personal circumstances do you need to consider for this decision (family, finances, personal identities, etc.)?
  • Is there a specific timeline that you need to follow?
  • How do you know when you are overwhelmed? How do you address those feelings? How will you adjust to make things more manageable?

  • Review what opportunities you have identified, research you have done, and experiences you have undertaken up to this point.
  • Consider which options align with your values and/or professional goals and which ones do not. 
  • Prioritize your goals so you can create a manageable and flexible plan of action. Review the Professional Goal Setting Guide for tips–including how to build an Individual Development Plan (IDP).
  • Research qualifications for different options. Start by asking a trusted professor or alum, Google it, listen to podcasts, read blogs, follow people on social media who do this work, etc.
  • Research the job outlook for industries or roles.
  • Shadow or do an informational interview with someone in your field(s) of interest and see if the daily tasks are something you would enjoy. Check out the Informational Interviewing Guide and Networking Guide for tips.