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8 Ways To Explore Careers

Last updated January 18, 2023

8 Ways to Explore Your Career Path Options

With so many different career paths and job industries out there, you may be unsure of where or how to start exploring ones that interest you. Taking some time to research and explore these industries can help you feel better prepared to apply for jobs and internships, choose a college major, decide on a career path that aligns with your interests and goals, and more! Here are 8 ways you can explore different careers and industries today. 

Watch career videos from The Way 

There is no one path to finding a fulfilling career! Our video series, The Way, highlights stories from people in a variety of careers and industries. From being a Chocolate Maker to a News Anchor, there's a career story on there that can help you find your way! 

Think of careers as stepping stones

Did you know that the average person changes careers at least twice in their life? Just because you start out as an accountant doesn't mean you can't try a career as a social media strategist, writer, chef, nurse, or filmmaker! When it comes to careers, nothing is permanent. If you think of your career as a stepping stone, you can stay open to exploring new interests and talents throughout it. 

Make a career plan

There is more than one path to get to your destination! We recommend making a simple plan of your desired career path(s). This plan can help you sketch out the steps you may need to take to get into that career path. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you make your plan:

  • What educational requirements may I need to fulfill? 
  • What job, volunteer, or intern experience do I need? 
  • Who do I know already established in this career that I can talk to? 
  • Does this career path align with my values and goals? 
  • Will I be happy in this career? 

Consider your strengths and passions

Everyone has strengths and passions! Do you enjoy working with children or the elderly? Are you analytical and love solving problems? Have you always enjoyed building things and working with your hands? No matter what your passions and strengths are, there's most definitely a career or job connected to them. By taking some time to consider these things, you can research careers from the heart with clearer goals and visions in mind!

Hold informational interviews

Informational interviews are one of the best ways to learn more about the career or industry you’re interested in - directly from a person who’s working in it. You can ask someone you already know or reach out to a person whose job interests you on Linkedin to request an informational interview with them. Informational interviews are typically brief and give the interviewer a chance to ask the person they're interviewing all about their job, education, career path, goals, and more. Holding informational interviews can help you narrow down potential career paths and decide if a path you were interested in is still the right fit for you.

Find a mentor

A mentor is someone typically in the same career as you that can provide advice, guidance, and can connect you to other people in the same field. A good mentor will give you advice when you need it, hold you accountable so you're making progress toward your goals, and encourage you to keep going when things get challenging. You can politely ask someone you hold an informational interview with if they're open to being your mentor, or connect with someone on LinkedIn who is open to mentoring. 

Intern and volunteer 

Gaining first-hand experience in the career or industry your interested in goes a long way! Not only will this experience help you determine if this career path is the right fit for you, it will also be an extremely valuable addition on your resume! Read our guide on finding jobs and internships in college here, and find your next volunteer opportunity here!

Take a career assessment test 

Career assessment tests are all over the internet, typically for free. These assessments can help you identify your strengths, personality traits, and interests to match you to possible careers you might excel at in the future. Even if you don't think the career options are a good match, they can help you start exploring career possibilities!

Have any questions about job, careers, or exploring career paths? We're here for you! Text #Jobs to 33-55-77 and be sure to sign up for our free first job resources

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