1.Assess your developmental level. Where in the career process are you? Whereas some individuals may just want any job, others may want any job in a chosen profession, and still others may be looking to “settle into” a career path and focus on a specific type of job in that profession.
2.Take an interest inventory. Many types of interest inventories are readily available, some of which determine the test taker’s Holland code (e.g., see http://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip). I suggest completing an inventory that does provide the Holland code and then examining that code.
3.Explore your Holland code. After obtaining your Holland code (step 2), go to O*NET Online and find jobs that match your code. A perfect match is not necessary, but it is probably a good idea if the job code is similar to your personal code. Make a list of these jobs and read about them. You can then whittle your list down to a reasonable number to consider.
4.Examine your early childhood. Reflect upon and assess how early childhood issues affected your propensity toward certain careers. Include such things as your placement in your family (middle children often are “mediators”), the values of your family, the belief system of your family, influence exerted by others, and so forth. For example, partly because I was struggling with a serious medical problem as a child and was a middle child, I was a “sensitive” child; this made me a more natural human service professional, as I tend to be sensitive to the plight of others.
5.Examine your parents’ career development and influence. Assess how your parents’ career development affected your aspirations. For instance, if your parents were “career military” and had aspirations for you to do the same, are you comfortable with the idea of following a different path and possibly disappointing them?
6.Assess socioeconomic issues. Reflect on how salary expectations will affect your status in the professions you are considering. Will you make “enough” to feel satisfied? Will you make enough to support your family, should you have one? Are enough jobs available in that profession for you to have a reasonable expectation that you can get one?
7.Assess emotional intelligence and personal issues. Assess how your ability to manage your emotions might impact your job performance and how issues in your life could interfere your work performance. For instance, if you are considering the human service profession, is there unfinished business in your life that would make it difficult to work in some human service jobs (e.g., if you were abused as a child, can you work with those who abuse?).
8.Examine situational issues. Assess situational issues that could impact career decision making. For instance, is the job you want available where you live? Are you mobile—can you move around to obtain a job? Will health issues impact your decision?
9.Examine your self-efficacy. Do you believe you can do a good job in the field(s) you have chosen? If not, can you change your beliefs or are you destined to be run by them?
10.Make some tentative choices. After you have completed steps 1–9, you should have a fairly small, yet good list of potential jobs and a possible career path. Go on some information interviews, read about the jobs, talk to others about them, and when you are ready, apply for jobs in that areas.
Conduct a career analysis. Analyze your own career, or a friend’s, using the steps identified in the week’s readings. What does this analysis point to for future development?