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  1. 1. DEBUNKING THE MYTHS OFCAREER EXPLORATIONLeigh Anne Leist and Sarah Crockett Advising Matters Conference March 2, 2012
  2. 2. C AREER E XPLORATION P ROCESS Step 1 – Self Assessment Step 2 – Career Research Step 3 – Decision Making Step 4 – Goal Setting and Action Plans
  3. 3. C AREER M YTH #1 Career Testing Will Tell Me Exactly What Occupation is Right For Me There is no “career test” – it’s called self assessment Starting point for career planning, but does not tell students what to be Allows students to gain a better understanding of themselves  Interests – Personality – Skills – Values Helps students determine career options that mesh with their characteristics
  4. 4. C AREER M YTH #2 There is One Perfect Occupation Waiting For Me Somewhere Out There Many occupations can satisfy a students career goals Career research helps students gather information about career fields and academic options Important for students to make informed decisions
  5. 5. C AREER M YTH #3 Most People Know Their Major and Career Goals When They Enter College Majority of students change their mind about majors and careers several times before graduation Average student entering with a major changes it three to five times → Average student entering undeclared changes only one or two times Self-assessment and career research helps make informed decisions
  6. 6. C AREER M YTH #4 My Major Leads Directly to My Career. If I Pick The Wrong Major, I’ll End Up In The Wrong Career One major can lead to many different career paths Employers care more about career related experience  Internship, Part-time employment, Volunteer Work, Study Abroad, Research … Gaining experience helps students test drive career options
  7. 7. C AREER M YTH #5 Liberal Arts, Humanities, and Science Majors Are Usually Unemployable Students in these majors are employed in a wide range of careers Majors offer students valuable training in many areas such as writing, research, critical thinking … Doing career research and gaining career related experience will make any student marketable The entire Career Exploration Process will make finding employment more manageable
  8. 8. C AREER M YTH #6 I Will Only Have One Career In My Lifetime Career Planning is a process; an ongoing process. Students should be reminded they will re -visit their career plans several times during their lifetime A typical college student may have 4 to 7 different career directions prior to retirement. Retirement may not even be a consideration for some! Not making decisions for the rest of one’s life. There are occupations that don’t even exist yet! How Exciting!
  9. 9. C AREER M YTH #7 Most People’s Knowledge Of Occupations Is Complete Often incomplete and incorrect! A glamorized and unrealistic picture is too often shared by the media Balanced and accurate information must be reviewed to objectively narrow down one’s occupational options Research – Informational Interviews – Co-op/Intern Opportunities
  10. 10. C AREER M YTH #8 I Should Choose An Occupation Based On My Strongest Skills Skills are only one component – interests – values - personality preferences must also be considered Thorough self-assessment is so important! Just because you are very talented in an area doesn’t mean you want to do it for a living What skills may you acquire in the future?!
  11. 11. C AREER M YTH #9The Best Place For Me To Start LookingFor An Occupation Is Where Employers Are Doing Lots Of Hiring Right Now The job market fluctuates constantly Projections could change Job outlook trends are useful if used cautiously Job market prognostication should never, ever be a primary factor in the choosing of a career!
  12. 12. C AREER M YTH #10 I Can Trust In Fate To Bring Me To The Right Occupation There are outside influences that can’t be controlled One should have an active role in determining one’s career path Set goals and create an action plan Information about self + occupational information = a wise career decision Plan Early – Timeline for Success
  15. 15. ReferencesGary Lynn Harr, Career Guide: Road Maps to Meaning in the World of Work, 1995.Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc., StrongInterest Inventory Resource. Strategies for Group and Individual Interpretations in College Settings, 1995.
  16. 16. QUESTIONS?Leigh Anne Leist, leistla@vt.eduSarah Crockett, Smith Career Center 540-231-6241