Feeling Adrift in an Ocean of Career Possibilities?
Here's a Lifeline to Help!
Which best describes you?
- I feel completely clueless about what career to pursue.
- I know what career I want, but I don’t know what major will get me there.
- I know what career and major I want, but I don’t know what classes to take.
- I think I know what career I want, but I want to be sure it’s a good “fit” for me.
- I know what career I want, but I need to know about labor market demand.
Elements of career choice:
It’s a major life decision, since we’ll be working for many, many years. We want to choose the “right” career for us. (Most of us will change careers several times, but making our first or second choice carefully can save in retraining time later.)
What elements are parts of a career decision?
- Personality traits
- Natural skills and talents
- Attitude, needs, motivation
- Values, “Non-negotiables”
- Decision making style
- Limitations: time, finances etc.
Know Your Career Choices
- Career descriptions and details
- Labor market trends
- Related Careers
- Education/training involved
- Internships and other opportunities
Know How to Determine the “Fit”
- Determine how the career fits with who you are and what you need.
- Develop a “filter” to narrow down career choices to a few that fit you.
- Create and follow an Action Plan, which might include career research and reality testing through Internships.
Ways to complete these steps:
(Remember to begin the college enrollment process at Enrollment Services, first floor of Lynnwood Hall, 425.640.1000.)
1. Take a Career Class.
If you feel very undecided about a career path, or if you are changing careers due to choice or necessity, register for one of Edmond CC’s 3 career planning classes. A class guides you through the major exploration steps in a structured, sequential way and includes interest and personality inventories.
Take one of these classes:
- Career/Life Planning (CCLS 111)
A quarter-long career/life planning class that provides a CORE of career planning tools: interest and personality inventories, examination of values, skills, labor market trends, group interaction and sharing of ideas, and a whole quarter to research, process, discuss, and explore for a thorough career plan. 3-credits
- Career Transitions (CCLS 105)
Offers the same CORE of career planning tools as in COPSY 111, including the interest and personality inventories, etc. Applies them in a shorter format and with a focus on how career changes impact us—whether we are transitioning by choice to change careers or move on from high school, or because of layoff, divorce, or other life-changing events. Also looks at non-traditional careers and New Workplace expectations. 2 credits
- Express Career Planning (CCLS 106)
Gives you a very late-quarter jump-start on career planning, using the same CORE of career planning tools as above, including inventories, in short format, to devise an Action Plan for successful career planning. 1 credit
2. Meet with a Counselor for free:
- career counseling
- to take interest and personality inventories
- to develop an Action Plan, (including research in the Career Action Center)
- and/or for decision-making assistance.
3. If you know what career you want, you can meet with an academic adviser, or use materials in the Transfer Center in Enrollment Services (LYN Hall) or the Career Action Center (MLT 130) to find out what majors would prepare you for this career.
4. If you know that you want to transfer to a 4-year school (or that you definitely don’t!) but don’t have a major in mind, you can meet with an expert Enrollment Services academic adviser to get started on a certificate or degree. Advisors might recommend general transfer classes, math and English classes, the Steps to Success (CCLS 100) orientation class, office technology, or computer literacy classes, and—if you’re very undecided, a career planning class.
5. If you have a definite major (or majors) in mind, you can still start with Enrollment Services’ advisers. Then meet with your faculty adviser each quarter to keep your educational plan on track. Advisers can also help you compare requirements for several majors if you’re undecided. Knowing the requirements helps in decision making! Even if you’ve picked a major, confirming your choice through a career planning class and/or research about the career field is wise.
6. To research career descriptions and occupational outlook, use the Career Action Center. The WOIS (Washington Occupational Information System) is a great up-to-date resource. You can also research occupations and Washington labor market information online (which features a quick interest inventory) with a computer in the center, which has other career and labor market information, as well.
7. Use one of the many available Career Planning books, such as "What Color is Your Parachute" by Richard Bolles. (Available at the Edmonds CC college store.)