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, take time to learn about your skills and interests to help you find careers and industries that may align with your interests, skills and goals. Utilize career exploration tools to get started in learning about yourself to further your career exploration. Some career exploration tools include:
- Focus 2 Career is a major and career exploration platform that will guide you through a series of self assessments on career planning, academic strengths and career readiness. Your assessment results are then matched to career and BC-specific major options. To Access: Complete the form, new users will be required to enter the access code: Eagles.
- Take a career assessment, Career Explorer or the Strong Interest Inventory to identify industries to explore that may align with your interests and skills.
- Check out What can I do with this major? and First Destination Data. While major may not always equal a specific career, these are a few tools that show popular industries that people with similar academic interests have gone into based on major.
Research potential careers
As you 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 join clusters of interest to receive cluster specific newsletters about upcoming programs and events, and opportunities.
- 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
As you begin to identify possible career matches and industries of interest, 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 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 connect:
- Identify who you may already be connected with 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 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 on where you are in your career journey.
—By Hannah Fatemi, Assistant Director, Career Education