Career Planning Steps

Increase Self Awareness

  • Meet with a member of career services to identify interests, values, personality, abilities and to clarify career goals 
  • Reflect on past experiences in high school and college to help determine what you liked (interests), what you did well (skills), and what you felt was important (values) 
  • Explore interests through courses, volunteer work, student activities, and job shadowing
  • Understand that the first step in career decision-making is developing self-awareness.
Your career decision is rooted in your own identity consisting of your interests, values, skills, experiences, and goals. You may be certain about all or only a few of these aspects. Students come to Career Services with varying levels of self-awareness. To increase your self-awareness, career counseling offers an opportunity to discuss your life and career goals. Counseling may include assessment, which is available to help you identify and organize your interests, abilities, and values as they relate to career fields. Career counseling will increase your awareness of career options, reinforcing those options you have already considered and exposing you to ones you have not yet considered. Discussing connections between your self-knowledge, experiences, and your vision for your future can lead to identifying career areas to explore.

Explore Career Options 

  • Research career options of interest using the Career Library and career-exploration sites on-line
  • Investigate career alternatives related to various fields of study 
  • Learn about various careers from friends, family, alumni, professors, and other people in the community
  • Explore the variety of opportunities available at Paine College in and out of the classroom 
  • Begin to develop plans to obtain your goals 
  • Prepare to pursue summer jobs and internships related to your interests
  • What I Can Do With this Major? 
Exploration can take many forms, all of which require you to be active in gathering information and applying this information to your self-awareness. Reading about careers through printed resources and through career information websites helps you to expand your knowledge base. While reading provides general information about career fields, talking with a professional who works in a field of interest to you (occupational information interviewing) can provide more details about the work and the setting, offer additional insight into careers, and answer your specific questions. Career Services can help you identify professionals in fields of interest who may offer information about their work and career. Your classes will also offer a forum for learning about careers through discussions with faculty, guest lecturers, and alumni. Beyond gathering information, begin to consider ways to gain exposure and involvement within your identified career options. Career Services can help you learn more about student activities, volunteer opportunities, job shadowing, part-time work, research opportunities, and internships related to your interest areas.

Acquire Knowledge, Skills, and Experience

  • Become active in extracurricular activities and volunteer work to develop teamwork, interpersonal, and leadership skills
  • Obtain relevant work experience by pursuing part-time work, summer jobs, and internships
  • Develop a broader appreciation of diversity through study abroad, foreign languages, community service, multicultural courses, and cultural activities on campus
  • Record your activities, accomplishments, and achievements
As you move closer to selecting your career field of interest, you will learn about the knowledge base, personal qualities and experiences which are valued by employers. These frequently include: communication skills, honesty/integrity, team work, interpersonal skills, motivation, leadership skills, the ability to work with diverse people, work experience, and a strong work ethic.

Career Services can help you plan to acquire these qualities and experiences. Active involvement in these areas will make you a more appealing candidate for available opportunities. Remember to record your accomplishments and achievements for inclusion in your resume and electronic portfolio.

Developing Your Career Goals


When students hear the title of Career Services, they often think of activities related only to the job search process. Before conducting your search, there are many things you can do to explore and plan for your future. Whether you are a first semester student or completing your last semester at Paine College, whether your career goals are clear or unclear, coming to Career Services can help you.

The process of career decision-making is one you will continue during your time at Paine College and throughout your life. Career decision-making involves increasing your selfawareness, exploring career options, and acquiring the knowledge, skills, and experiences that will help you implement your career choices. This process is unique to each individual student based on experiences, skills, interests, and values.

The Career Services staff is here to assist you in the process of developing your career goals and planning steps to reach those goals.