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Are you an adult exploring new employment opportunities?  Or maybe you are a high school student evaluating career options?  Perhaps you are a parent, guiding a high school student in the process? Whatever the case, the first step in career exploration is understanding yourself well enough to discover the path to a satisfying career.  Taking some time to assess your personality, skills, interests, and values can steer you in the right direction.

Career Options

There are many different career options and learning about them can be exciting.  CCPL offers great resources to begin the investigation.   Careers: The Graphic Guide to Finding the Perfect Job for You uses visually appealing diagrams to introduce career information in a reader-friendly format.  Be sure to check out the Careers Chart to see categories careers fall under, Thinking About Your Career to help you reflect on your own interests and talents and how they may influence career decisions, and Understanding Yourself to assess your skills and personal qualities, as well as what motivates you. 

The final section of the eBook allows you to apply what you have learned to explore well-suited careers.  Once you have found a few careers of interest, use the section to read job descriptions, find entry level qualifications, and learn of post-secondary education or training requirements.  Some careers require a college degree while others require apprenticeship, certification, or licensing.  Careers: The Graphic Guide to Finding the Perfect Job for You is an inviting resource for those just beginning the career exploration process. 

If diving into Careers: The Graphic Guide to Finding the Perfect Job for You creates more questions than it answers, do not be discouraged.  New information is bound to get you thinking, and that is the point.  The more you know about different career clusters and specific career options, the easier it will be to determine which might be a good fit. 

Specialized Resources

The US Department of Labor sponsors several websites with excellent career tools.  CCPL’s Employment Resource Center features a few of these sites.

Library patrons can access CareerOneStop to:

Patrons can use O*Net Online to:

  •       Complete an Interest Profiler which reveals how your interests relate to the world of work
  •       Define six core work values :
    • Achievement
    • Independence
    • Recognition
    • Relationships
    • Support
    • Working Conditions
  •     Examine the values to see which are most desirable
    • Align your values with potential careers to improve career satisfaction

Finally, My Next Move guides users to browse careers by key word, by industry, or by answering questions about the kind of work you might like to do.  Enter an industry on My Next Move to receive a list of careers in that field.  Selecting an occupation from the list leads to a short career video and other information about the job, such as:  the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the work, as well as education requirements, job outlooks and salary information.

Learning More

Once you have narrowed the list to a few career possibilities, it is a good idea to get some firsthand knowledge of what the occupation is like.  Begin networking with people you know to find job shadowing or volunteer opportunities.   Such experiences will help you determine if the career is just what you are looking for or if it is not quite what you had expected.

Additional Resources

Teens’ Guide to College & Career Planning highlights different aspects of career planning. Adults may also find the eBook useful.   The Other Options After High School section provides detailed information concerning online learning, community colleges, vocational and career colleges, apprenticeships and trades, as well as military options.

For those interested in relocating, the Employment Resource Center features a Salary Calculator.  The Salary Calculator determines how much you would need to earn in a new city by comparing the cost of living in each area. 

BigFuture is CollegeBoard’s website.  It has excellent free college search tools.  Use the website to plan your BigFuture by searching for careers and majors, finding colleges, finding grants and scholarships, and comparing colleges.