Winter break can be a perfect time to dedicate toward taking a deep dive into your career exploration. While it is time to relax and connect with friends and family, you can also make great progress towards your career goals in just a few hours by following a few of the suggestions listed below. Don’t worry, most of these steps can be completed from the comfort of your couch.
Identify your skills and interests:
Are you wondering how to identify careers that will meet your interests and goals? As you begin to explore careers, taking the time to learn about your skills and interests can help you find careers and industries that may align with your interests, skills and goals. Utilizing the tools on our career exploration page can help you get started in learning about yourself to inform your career exploration. Some ways to identify your interests and skills include:
- Taking an assessment. Career Explorer, 16 Personalities or the Strong Interest Inventory are great options.
- Completing a values worksheet to help you identify your personal values.
- Checking out What can I do with this major? and First Destination Data. While major may not always equal career, these are a few tools that show industries that people have gone into based on major.
Research potential careers:
As you to identify your skills and interests, you can begin to research industries that you are curious to learn more about and how they may match what you are looking for in a future career. You can make a list of industries and careers and then dive into researching them. Some ways to begin your career research may include:
- Explore the six career cluster pages. As you scroll through each career cluster page, there are many resources to help inform your search along with lists of sub-industries within each career cluster to help you identify a variety of careers within industries. If you find career clusters that you are interested in, you can sign up on each cluster page to receive cluster specific communications about upcoming programs and events, and reminders.
- As you find career matches, you can search within the Vault Guides or the Occupational Outlook Handbook to learn more details about career matches.
- If you identify companies that offer careers of interest to you, you can draft a list of target companies to research to learn more about the company and opportunities.
Conduct exploratory career conversations:
Once you begin to identify possible career matches, setting up exploratory career conversations with professionals working within careers of interest to you can be a great way to learn more about the career. Exploratory career conversations are informal interviews with professionals.
There are several resources and tools to help you identify your network, then build and expand it to help you connect to professionals in careers you are interested in to have exploratory career conversations. Here are some ways to get connected:
- Identify who you may already be connected in your network. Brainstorm any connections you may have within family, community members and past employers that may be working in careers that interest you.
- Build and expand your network to explore and connect with the Boston College alumni community. Here are two ways to connect you to the alumni network:
- EagleExchange: This platform allows you to search for and connect with alumni via messages and has the ability to request meetings for either a phone or video call within this platform.
- LinkedIn: When you create a LinkedIn profile, you can then follow the Boston College page, and search for alumni via the alumni tab. As you identify alumni that you would like to connect with you can send an introductory message.
- As you identify professionals that you would like to chat with, you reach out to have an exploratory career conversation.
Once you get started in exploring careers over winter break, if you have questions about next steps you can make an appointment to chat with an exploration coach or a career cluster coach based off of where you are in your career journey.
—By Hannah Fatemi, Assistant Director, Career Education