Career Exploration

The best way to achieve your goals of pursuing meaningful and rewarding work is to first EXPLORE what that really 'is', for you!  Get the help of our CES Advisors, who partner with the professional counsellors in Counselling Services, to introduce UofL students to the idea of career development and the 4 step CAREER PLANNING PROCESS.

STEP 1 - Get to KNOW YOURSELF: what are your needs, passions, values, interests, skills/abilities, traits & vision for the future?  This is the essential place to start planning for the future - by knowing what is important to you and what direction might bring you happiness. To start at this step -- please book an appointment with UofL Counselling Services for 'career counselling' to work on these 'internal' personal processes that include how to increase your self-awareness and apply this information to your career path progress.

STEP 2 - EXPLORE OPTIONS: CES Advisors use various tools and processes to help you research actual job titles, duties, training paths & qualifications that exist in the 'external' work world. Knowing what jobs exist that could fit with your 'interests and passions', and with your training and education is the 2nd step.  Learning the details of each job option will help you find MANY that could be in your preferred work direction.

STEP 3- GET READY / EVALUATE OPTIONS: Once you read about various occupations of interest, you will need to take your research to the 'next level' of finding out first hand which options are the most energizing and preferable to you. You will learn about ways to further evaluate your options by getting more HANDS-ON INFORMATION about jobs & professions.  You will learn about the process of information interviews, volunteering, co-op programs and other strategies to help you BUILD EXPERIENCE, SKILLS & CONFIDENCE before you graduate!  Make a 'career binder', print and compare your information so you can truly see the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

STEP 4 - MAKE A PLAN & TAKE ACTION: As you gain clarity from your occupational career research, you will become more clear about the steps and processes involved in both the academic world and the work world.  Knowing what action steps you can take and how to take action towards them is a gradual process that will unfold over your career path & over your lifetime.  Be ready for your plans to ALWAYS CHANGE - so be flexible and consider your situational needs when you are considering what action steps are right for you at any one time.

CAREER PLANNING 101 WORKSHOP

 View the Workshop Calendar

 Are you wondering how to prepare for the transition from student to work place employee? Yes...there are 'best strategies' that you need to start BEFORE you graduate if you want to have a quicker and more effective job search after graduation.  Attend this workshop & learn more about:

  • how to manage your transition from 'student' in the academic world to 'job seeker/future employee' in the work world
  • what is career planning & how to use the 4 step career planning process for your own career path progression
  • how you can build 'stepping stones' of skill, confidence and experience BEFORE YOU GRADUATE so you can move forward and be more recognizable as a qualified applicant & future employee 
  • strategies for researching occupations and employers that exist in your field of study/work interest
  • ways to help you organize and evaluate your options, and how to make this an ongoing life process (Career Binder)
  • the function and resources of 'professional associations' which are the gateway to most occupations & professions!

UNDERSTANDING THE TRANSITION FROM STUDENT to EMPLOYEE

Are you wondering if you are ready to enter the world of work?  Do you have the relevant experience, skills and attitude to be hired by employers who have a strong need to find the 'best' employee for the job?   Can you prepare to be successful finding field related jobs while you are still in post-secondary, in addition to after graduation?  The answer is YES - with preparation & learning about the world of work!

Being a student can be thought similar to 'living on an island of academics' where you know well how to study for exams, follow the academic rules of behavior, strive to reach the expectations of your professors, and hopefully get involved in extra-curricular activities.  BUT...are you ready to make a successful transition to the world of full-time new graduate employment? There is much that you can do NOW to ease that transition! 

The goal of every post-secondary student is to be working in a meaningful job in the world of work (called the the labour market), which is like 'living on the mainland of a continent' where there are usually very different rules of behavior, high standards of work performance, and expectations of professional interpersonal, verbal and written communication. Do you know the rules of the work world? Do you have the background experience, knowledge & skills to be recognized as an 'exceptional candidate' for your preferred type of job?  The good news is that you can BUILD your work related skills, knowledge, experience and contacts while you are STILL IN UNIVERSITY!   

Between school and the work world is 'the river of transition' which luckily has some very helpful STEPPING STONES. Your ability to be recognized as a qualified, skilled and experienced candidate will be enhanced if you identify and utilize them to learn about your work interests, make connections with employers, and take action to get involved in work related roles, positions or projects.

Thus...the key to success is to begin to BUILD YOUR EXPERIENCE & CONTACTS ....NOW...before you graduate! START TODAY!

HOW TO BUILD EXPERIENCE

All students regardless of their year of study can do things to build their experience and background.  This serves to bring focus to your career goals and ultimately make you more competitive when you enter the world of work.   The more exposure you have to new experiences and ideas, the more you learn about your interests, priorities and motivations. 

And the earlier you start the process, the more time you have to gather information, so 1st and 2nd year is the ideal time to begin! But even in your 3rd and 4th year you can take advantage of opportunities to expand your skills and experience.

In your academic world you can choose from an amazing array of courses and you will become inspired by the people you meet and by things you have never imagined. And while you're in school you will have opportunities to connect with the community and the work world beyond the university with mentors, employers, colleagues and community leaders.

Following are a few of the many practical ways you can expand your knowledge, experience and network:

  • Co-op work terms                              
  • Applied studies
  • Independent Study
  • Undergraduate Thesis
  • Academic conferences; Student Conferences
  • International Exchanges; Study tours
  • Campus clubs & Activities
  • Get involved in a university committee
  • Be active in student government
  • Participate in Case Competitions
  • Attend speakers and seminars
  • Employment interviews
  • Job shadowing
  • Volunteer in the community
  • Summer jobs
  • Join a professional association
  • Conduct informational interviews
  • Part-time jobs

Contact Us to discuss how you would like to build your experience or Book an Appointment.

Read about information interviews by young people searching for inspiration and understanding on their career search on Road Trip Nation.

Events Calendar

Friday, September 12, 2014 - 9:00am
Looking for your first job, summer-position or co-op work term?  Mark your calendar for fall...
Monday, September 15, 2014 - 6:00pm
Monday September 15, 2014 6:00-8:00pm AH100 ~ Andy's Place RSVP HERE *CES asks you to sign up so...
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 4:30pm
Tuesday September 16, 2014 4:30-6:00pm TH241 RSVP HERE *CES asks you to sign up so we can provide...
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 6:00pm
Tuesday September 16, 2014 6:00-8:00pm AH100 ~ Andy's Place RSVP HERE *CES asks you to sign up so...
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 3:00pm
Looking for your first job, summer-position or co-op work term?  Mark your calendar for fall...
Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 4:30pm
Thursday September 18, 2014 4:30-6:00pm TH241 RSVP HERE *CES asks you to sign up so we can...