Your Work Life
Over the course of your life, you're probably going to spend
a lot of time at work. According to the Bureau
of Labor Statistics, the average work day
is about 8.7 hours long. And that means if you work 5 days a week
50 weeks a year for 35 years, you'll spend a total of 76,125 hours
of your life at work. If you weren't already convinced,
that number should persuade you that it's pretty important
to enjoy your career.
Think About This
If you pursue a career, you'll
constantly make decisions about it. Is this the right job for me? Am I feeling fulfilled and challenged? Does this job enable me to
have the lifestyle I want? We want to set you up for success by asking you to consider
these kinds of questions now, whether you're just graduating
from high school or college, or returning to school
after working for a while.
Steps to Choosing
Choosing a career is a
unique process for everyone and for many people
the task is daunting! There are so many different occupations
to choose from, how do you even navigate
this complex "world-of-work"? There are many different systems
for organizing career paths. Luckily, we've come up with
a five-step decision process that will make your path
a little easier to find.
Number one. Get to know yourself and the things
you're truly passionate about. Gather information about your
career-related interests and values. Think about what skills and abilities
come naturally to you and which ones you want to develop. Consider your personality type
and how you want it to play out in your role at work.
Number two. Get to know your field. You'll want to investigate the
career paths available to you. One of the most convenient filters is to decide the level of
education you want to attain before starting your first
or your next job. Do you want to earn an Associate's degree,
a Bachelor's degree, a Master's degree, or a Doctorate or Professional degree?
Number three. Prioritize your "dealmakers"
and rule out your "dealbreakers." Educational requirements aren't the only
area that you will want to consider. Do you want to work outside
or in an office? In the country or a city? In a big or small organization? For public service or a private company? What type of industry is interesting to you? What role do you see yourself playing in the organization?
Number four. Make a preliminary career decision
and create a plan of action. Now that you have an idea of who you are
and where you might find a satisfying career, how do you start taking action
toward achieving those goals? Some people talk to family, friends,
or instructors in their chosen disciplines. Others have mentors in their lives
with whom to process this decision. Luckily for you, California Community Colleges
have career counselors and academic advisors who can help you with both career decision-making
and the educational planning process. But be advised: you'll get the most
from sessions with your counselor if you have done some work on your own. Get started by using the Career Café
or the Career Zone. Barbara Sher once wrote... "Find a career that you love and you will
never work another day in your life."
Number five. Go out and achieve your career goal! Now it's time to
take concrete steps toward achieving your
educational and career goals. This may be as simple as creating
a preliminary educational plan for next semester or a
comprehensive educational plan that maps out your Associate's degree. You may also want to look for internships,
part time work, or volunteer opportunities that help you test and confirm
your preliminary career choice. Your community college counselor
can help you with this step as well.
Keep It In Check
Your work experiences
and life circumstances will undoubtedly change throughout the course
of your professional life, so you may need to
go back and reassess where you are on this path
in the future. But no matter if you feel like you were born knowing what
you want to do professionally, or you feel totally unsure about
what the future may hold for you, remember that with careful consideration,
resolve, and strategic thought, you can find a career that feels rewarding.
Good luck and don't get discouraged!
This isn't an easy process
but you'll find your goals
so much more tangible
once you've set a
preliminary career goal.
And don't forget–
we're here to help you!