Are you headed
along the right path to your dream career? Like any adventure, your career
journey is certain to be much more exciting and satisfying if you have a destination
When you are focused and know your strengths and interests, you can target the
industries, organizations and positions that best match your talents and personality.
Your immediate goal should be to make the best career choices possible at this point in your life. Keep in mind, it’s only natural that your dreams and aspirations may change over time. Changing interests and personal circumstances, combined with the rapidly evolving nature of the world of work, will require you to make numerous career-related decisions throughout your lifetime.
Self-assessment requires a hard look at yourself and an honest evaluation of your strengths
and weaknesses. It is one of the most challenging pieces of the career puzzle, but also one
of the most important.
with different career fields, and knowing the responsibilities and skills required
different jobs, will help you determine options which are compatible with your
values and skills.
the Job Market
you know about industry and occupational trends, the better you can assess what
skills and qualifications employers are seeking, evaluate your odds of entry
and learn how to market yourself.
A FOUR YEAR CAREER PLAN
Freshman Year: A Time of Self - Discovery
“Who am I?”
“What do I do best?”
“What major should I choose?”
As you begin
your college education, it’s perfectly OK not to know what you want to do later
in life. Take time now to learn as much as you can about your skills, personality,
lifestyle preferences, interests and values. This information will help you choose a major
and begin to explore the exciting world of career possibilities awaiting you!
- Develop your interests
and skills through student organizations, sports, general
education classes and extracurricular activities.
- Get acquainted with what’s
available at the Career Center Library. Read about different
- Talk about your career
interests with parents, friends, professors and other individuals
- Stop by the Career Center
for drop-in counseling. Take self-assessments to learn more
about yourself. Identify the skills and strengths you enjoy using.
- Study hard and keep your
grades as high as possible.
Year: Expand Your Career Horizons
know my major, but what can I do with it?”
“What career options do I have with my major?”
“What’s out there?”
“What can I do with a liberal arts degree?”
Continue to explore
and gather information about career fields. The best resources
are people who work in the career fields that interest you. Summer jobs, internships
volunteer activities will provide first-hand insights.
- Continue to expand your
knowledge of career options. Make a list of the ones which
- Learn more about the
job market by browsing through the Occupational Outlook
- Research other materials
at the Career Center Library and on the Internet.
- Conduct informational
interviews with people who work in career fields of interest to
you. Spend a day on the job with a professional.
- Pursue internships, part-time
and summer jobs and volunteer activities to gain work
experience and to learn more about your work preferences.
- Attend career fairs and
other career-related programs to increase your knowledge of
the full range of jobs that people perform.
Year: Narrow Down the Options
looking at several career options -- which is the best for me?”
“What do I need to do to prepare for this career?”
“How have my interests changed since my freshman year, and how will this influence
my present actions?"
Internships and summer employment will help you acquire new skills, learn more about careers and develop a network of contacts. Aim for outstanding academic performance, especially in your major. Now’s the time to go back and once again ask and
answer the questions “Who am I?” and “What do I want?”
- Narrow down your choices and discuss your career ideas with a career counselor. Are you satisfied with your early decisions?
- Start preparing for graduate school if your career choice requires an advanced degree. Check admission requirements, testing dates and timelines for applications.
- Research companies and work environments. Pinpoint organizations with job titles that use your skills and for which you believe you are a good match.
- Begin to establish professional contacts to assist with your job search campaign.
- Continue to gain career-related work and leadership experience.
Year: Make a Career Decision
types of jobs are available?”
“How do I find the job that’s right for me?”
“Should I go to graduate school now or later?”
Plan ahead and set reasonable
career goals for yourself. By now you are facing a transition from college to graduate school or a career position. Graduate school applications,
letters of reference and test scores must be submitted early. BruinView™ jobs, internships, and interviews will help you identify prospective employers and career positions.
- Discover the ABC’s of
a successful job search by attending workshops at the Career Center.
Consult with a career counselor.
- Prepare for your first
job. Talk with UCLA alumni about their first year on the job and some of
the challenges you can expect.
- Use your contacts to
identify job opportunities and get referrals.
- Explore all opportunities.
Attend career fairs and employer presentations. Check
BruinView™ for jobs, internships, and interviews.
- Confirm your remaining
degree requirements at the beginning of the year so there are no “surprises” when
it comes time to graduate.