Thursday, September 1, 2011
Figuring out what to do with your life, or at least what you want to do after graduating, can be an intimidating process. However, it doesn't have to be. Typically, three steps lead to a good career fit: 1) Conducting personal analysis, 2) Exploring the ins and outs of different career paths, and 3) Determining where there is congruency between you and particular careers.
This week, we'll take a look at the first step: conducting personal assessments.
To find a good fit you have to know yourself. Think about your strengths, weaknesses, values, priorities, and interests. Consider:
Getting the answers
- What are you good at? People who are happiest in their jobs are using their natural talents. What comes naturally or easiest for you?
- What do you like? Which aspects of business are you drawn to? What do you like to study or read about? What do you like to do in your free time?
- What challenges you? Knowing weaknesses doesn't mean you have to avoid them entirely, but you should consider how willing you are to work in order to build your skills. Sometimes, knowing weaknesses helps rule options out.
- What's most important to you in a job? Being challenged? Earning a particular salary? A prestigious company? Advancement opportunities? Work/life balance? Being exposed to and required to do a variety of tasks? Or, developing and using expertise in a specific niche area?
- In which environments do you thrive? Need to be around a lot of people? Crave solitude? Enjoy competition? Prefer collaboration? Do you thrive under tight deadlines and a fast pace or prefer something a bit slower or calmer?
There are several resources you can use to help with your analysis:
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Personality assessment available on the homepage of BuckyNet that examines how you learn, process information, interact with others, make decisions and more.
- Strong Interest Inventory (SII): Career asseessment also available on the homepage of BuckyNet that evaluates patterns among your interests and matches them with potential career options.
(Note: Both MBTI and SII require an appointment with a BCC advisor to receive assessment results - available after 9/15)
- Make an appointment to talk to a career advisor about your answers to the questions above.
- Your peers: Ask other students how they made decisions about their major or career interests. Approach students you've worked with in student orgs or group projects for feedback.
- Your friends, family and faculty: Ask others what they think your strengths are.
- Evaluate previous work experience. Think about what you enjoyed and didn't enjoy at your summer or part-time job. The work might have been seemingly unrelated to your future business career, but the skills you enjoyed using or the work environment you liked might give you clues about what to look for in the future.
- StrengthsFinder 2.0: This book/assessment determines your top five strengths and provides advice on utilizing those strengths in the workplace. (Note: Make sure to buy a new version of the book - not used - in order to access the online assessment).
- Consider your coursework so far: Which classes have come easier to you and which you have enjoyed the most?
Conducting personal assessment takes time. No one figures out what to do with their life overnight. Take the time to truly evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, interests, values and priorities to increase the odds of finding a job that makes you happy!
Next week in Bucky's Career Corner... find out what it takes to make a positive first impression on employers and other business professionals! (Just in time for the Career & Internship Fair). Also, check out the following BCC seminars coming up in the next week or so:
BCC Career Kickoff Session
Thursday, September 8 @ 4:30-5:30
Write a Winning Resume: A Primer for New Business Students (and anyone that would like a refresher!)
Monday, September 12 @ 4:30-5:30
Making the Most of the Fall Career & Internship Fair
Tuesday, September 13 @ 4:30-5:30
Check Today in Grainger Hall for room locations.