Career Development Process »
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Take the first step on your career journey: get to know yourself.

Explore values and identify themes in your interests, strengths and skills. Prioritize which theme(s) is more important to you in your exploration. Reflect on what you have learned about yourself to discover how you align with potential career paths, articulate your story to employers and graduate and professional schools, and approach the career development process with confidence.

Here, find curated information on the following topics:

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

Or, visit communities for any of these topics directly:

Explore Your Interests / Self Assessment Build My NetworkGeneral Professional Development

Another important step is to explore skills that you may need to develop in this stage of the process:

  • Self-Awareness 
  • Relationship Development
  • Communication

Answer these questions on your own, or discuss with an advisor.

  • What are you curious about? 
  • What problems or issues are you interested in working on?
  • In thinking about your previous classes or experiences (work, volunteer, projects, etc.), are there certain aspects that you liked or did not like?
  • What do you enjoy doing? 
  • What is important to you in how you live your life? 
  • What have others noted as your strengths and talents–based on letters of recommendation, instructor, supervisor or peer feedback, etc.?
  • What do you do that energizes you? Depletes you? 
  • What were you doing when you felt highly engaged in something or lost track of time because you were so deeply engrossed? 
  • Which skills do you most enjoy using?   
  • How do you want to impact the world/society through your work? 

  • Work through the Self Awareness Canvas with a career adviser or independently, and consider doing a values sort or self-assessment through the FOCUS 2 Career resource (NetID required). 
  • Identify and understand your strengths and talents to activate in leadership and your personal and career journey by visiting the Duke Catalyst page and completing the self-assessment, Strengths Profile, as a starting point. 
  • Try other self-awareness tools like My Next Move, the Interest Profiler on O*Net or ImaginePhD (doctoral students).
  • Start a journal or file where you keep all of your thoughts about classes and experiences in one place. 
  • Discuss what you are discovering about your interests, skills, strengths and values with people who know you well such as mentors, professors, peers and family. 
  • Consider on-campus opportunities to build self-awareness such as the Kenan Purpose Project.
  • Create a mind map to identify ideas and connect themes across your interests and experiences.