Peer Career Tip – Narrowing Down an Area of Work

It can feel overwhelming to narrow down a specific area of work, especially with new positions rapidly emerging and many options to choose from.

Here are some tips to help you feel the most confident when navigating the process: 

  1. Gain an understanding of your values – What do you expect to gain from a position? What ethical components are important to you? Familiarize yourself with the missions and views of companies/organizations/fields that interest you and assess if you would feel comfortable representing this brand in any room you are in.  Additionally, is this area of work merely a jumping off point for you or something long term? Recognize your values, priorities, and end goal.

2. Career assessments – Starr offers various career self-assessments like Focus2 [which provide you with access to personality, interest, and values inventories], Career Choice Readiness From, and the Career Anchors Inventory. Instructions for all of these assessments can be found on your Handshake account under the Resources section.  Additional options include advisor-interpreted assessments such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Strong Interest Inventory (SII).  These assessments collect your responses from a broad range of questions and summarize what skills, values, interests, and/or personality traits you possess.  The results also include a list of what career fields and/or majors usually work best with those skills, personality traits, and recommend a variety of options to cover several interests.

3. Utilize free elective space – Once you have an idea of a few areas you may want to focus on, utilize the advantage you have as a Weissman student: the opportunity for several free electives.  Enroll for a class in a field you are open to exploring! Not only does this provide an opportunity for you to put your skills to the test without committing to an internship, but it also opens doors for academic projects, research opportunities, and to create connections with professionals in the field. You will get a true taste of what this field is truly like. This is one of my personal favorite ways to find out what I like and dislike. Using this strategy has helped immensely with my career search.

4. Career advisement – Speaking to a career advisor can help tremendously.  It is always beneficial to have a second set of eyes guiding you through realistic and appropriate career decisions and providing feedback on steps already taken.  Starr provides career advisement as one of our many services to ensure students feel supported through this journey. Set up your appointment today using Handshake.

Much self-exploration and self-assessment is required when narrowing down an area of work.  It is a big decision! Therefore, it is key to familiarize yourself with the strongest skills you possess, your likes/dislikes, and what works for your personality, to then fully be able to commit and thrive in a field.  Good luck Bearcats!

-Mashal Burney, Peer for Career

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