Students often fail to take the time to ask themselves why they are doing what they’re doing; why they’re working so hard and spending so much money to pursue a degree that they may or may not actually be interested in. This is a significant problem, as graduation comes much too quickly, and students are often clueless as to where to go next. So how can this be combatted? It all starts with individuals knowing themselves well, what they enjoy about their chosen major, and where it can take them moving forward.
Self-knowledge: What are your strengths? What could use improvement? What is a specific cause or leisure activity that you would drop everything for? Are you a listener? Problem solver? Are you creative or adaptable? It’s easy to forget these qualities about ourselves, as well as what we can bring to the table. We all have something unique to offer, but it often takes reflection on what those things are to pursue them further.
Occupational Knowledge: After diving into your skills, interests, values and personality, what occupations do you see would suit you best? Do some research on what is available, and discover all of your options. This is where the Focus assessment comes in handy, as it is targeted toward students or post grads seeking work that they will both excel in and thoroughly enjoy. Check out the Strong Interest Inventory and Do What You Are tests as well to discover where your strengths lie and how you can use them to improve communities.
Forward Momentum: Talk is cheap. We can discuss our dreams and future plans for years and never actually achieve them. Set up an action plan on how you will get there, include measurable goals, and be prepared to encounter obstacles. Enjoy where you’re at, but always look ahead to where you want to be. Plan in decades, think in years, work in months, live in days.
Find out if you are an organizer, a thinker, a doer, a helper or a combination. Discover your work and leisure interest careers and what the job market looks like for those. Reevaluate your values and how they align with both your day-to-day activities and your future plans. The CAP Career Maturity Module will encourage students to chase an engaging and meaningful career.