It’s ok if you’re not sure what you want to do when you graduate. Occupations are constantly evolving, as are the needs of employers. Knowing how your overall skills and qualifications can add value to an organization will help you not only in securing your first job, but also in staying relevant and advancing as a professional. Self-reflection is a crucial part of making career decisions.

Self-Reflection Questions

  • What kind of work do I want to do based on my interests, skills and values? What kind of challenges energize me?
  • Am I prepared? How will my skills and qualifications add value to that occupation/organization?
  • Are the requirements of this occupation reasonable to me?
  • Where are the employment opportunities?

The process of exploring careers can begin with online research or by talking with professionals in your field(s) of interest. If you do not yet have a career in mind, then you can research careers that relate to different majors. The resource, What Can I Do with This Major? offers ideas of possible careers associated with each major.

Gathering information online can be followed by conducting informational interviews with professionals in occupations that appeal to you. and then experiencing Look for ways to gain exposure to the work as a volunteer, intern, or part-time employee are among the most effective ways to learn about a career.

You may find it helpful to work with a Career Consultant to discuss opportunities for informational interviews and gaining experience in an area of interest. Current UA students can schedule an appointment through Handshake. Incoming first-year students can email us at career@ua.edu.

Resources

  • Self-Assessment Exercises
  • Candid Career has brief videos of professionals from thousands of occupations talking about their careers.
  • O*Net OnLine is a database of hundreds of occupations described in terms of daily tasks, knowledge required, and qualifications and interests of the typical worker.
  • My Next Move is an interactive tool for job seekers and students to learn more about their career options. The site has tasks, skills, salary information, and more for over 900 different careers.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook is a collection of occupational profiles that cover the tasks of a job, its work environment, the steps for landing the job, and the job’s projected outlook.