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Career Exploration and Job Preparation: Career Exploration

In today's competitive job market it is crucial to prepare yourself and know what it takes to enter the workforce successfully. The purpose of this guide is to provide individuals with resources to help them prepare.



The more you learn about your career industry, the job type you are interested in, the specific position you are applying for, and the company you would like to work for, the more prepared you will be for the application process. Do not underestimate the power of preparation. Do your research. It can save you time and money in the long run. 


Tip: Create a brain dump page (Word doc or paper) to alleviate a cluttered mind. This page helps you remember and organize important thoughts and information. Organize your brain dump page in an outline format to keep important information readily available. It is a very useful tool in your toolbox.

Brain Dump Page

When thinking about which careers are best for you use your brain dump page to jot down notes and questions/answers about each career. 


Things to consider when exploring careers:

  • Will you enjoy what you do and feel a sense of purpose? 
  • What careers match your personality?
  • What is the job market for this type of career in my area? Will I have to relocate? 
  • What is the salary range for this type of career in your area? 
  • What is the typical work schedule/hours for this career (i.e. shift work, nights, weekends, long days, etc.)? 
  • Will I have to travel? If so, how often and how far? 
  • What will it take for me to enter into this field and be successful (i.e. certification, apprenticeship, college degree, internships, etc.)? 
  • Is there a wide variety of different job options within the scope of this career? (example: the medical field/nursing offer many different opportunities and paths)
  • What will my future look like in this career (think about retirement)?
  • What benefits are offered (health insurance, dental insurance, paid time off, etc.) 
  • What is the work/life balance of jobs in this field?

Tip: Ask potential employers if you can schedule a job shadow. Job shadowing is simply spending a few hours or a day at the job. Depending on your experience they may let you perform the actual job or they could pair you with an employee(s) that will show you what it's like to work there. 

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