On a blank sheet of paper, write down the names of people who you have personally known and who have been important to you or influential in your life. Note that the people you list can be living or deceased and people you like or dislike. If you grew up with family members, be sure to list them.
Now, list these people’s occupations or the work (paid or unpaid) they typically perform(ed). Some people will likely have multiple occupations listed.
Look at the list of work you have created and reflect on how your past or current career aspirations may have been influenced by the work you have been exposed to growing up. Do you find yourself down a path toward a similar or dissimilar career than the people you have listed? What are your assumptions about their work? How do you think these assumptions have moved you toward or away from certain kinds of work?
On a blank sheet of paper, brainstorm all the skills and attributes you think you possess. Remember that a skill is something you learn and utilize. An attribute is a quality you might possess. So, you might be good at taking accurate notes during meetings (a skill) and you may be dependable (an attribute).
Now, create four quadrants on another sheet of paper and label each with one of the employability categories (career identity, personal adaptability, human capital, and social capital) discussed in this chapter. Sort your initial list of skills and attributes into the quadrants and add additional ones if you think of them.
Discuss your completed quadrants with a small group of classmates. Where are you excelling in your employability? In what quadrant might you focus on developing in the next three months?
Take the O*NET Interest Profiler assessment at https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip. This self-assessment takes 5-10 minutes to complete.
- Choose a “best fit” occupation you are or would consider pursuing. Click on the occupation and review the “My Next Move” page. What do you find interesting about this occupation (e.g. skills, knowledge, abilities, technology, and/or job outlook)?
- When you started the assessment, you were told not to think about education/training or money. Did you find yourself considering these factors as you answered each question?
- The O*NET Interest Profiler is intended to provide initial guidance and prompt you to think more about your interests and future careers. Do not make career choices based on this assessment. Instead, use your results as a starting point. Explore other resources, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. What are the fastest growing occupations? What are the projections for rate of change by industry? By exploring additional resources, have your thoughts on your O*Net results changed?
In your career, how important is money? What sort of salary and benefits will you seek to meet what you perceive to be your ideal standard of living? Now, visit Glassdoor.com and find salary ranges for jobs that interest you in a particular geographic location. How do your compensation desires match up to the jobs you might pursue?