Career Exploration:
Discover Your Choices

Broaden Your Career Options

Naturally, your first step in exploring your career options will be to determine which careers to explore. You may already have some possible options in mind. But don’t forget that there are literally thousands of possible career options in the world of work, and there may be some that you haven’t thought of that would be good careers for you. So before you begin researching different occupations, you will want to do a little brainstorming to broaden your career options.

Brainstorm on your own:

  • Before you began the career planning process, you probably had a few, or perhaps many, occupations you were considering. Write them down.
  • Remember when your parents, relatives, teachers, and almost everyone but the family pet used to ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up. (Maybe they still do). What did you answer? Write these down too.
  • Look back at your list of values, interests, skills, talents, and traits. Can you think of any occupations that might match up well with these characteristics?

Brainstorm with others:

  • Talk with your friends. Talk with your parents. Talk with your teachers, neighbors, relatives, co-workers. Talk with the guy who delivers your pizza. Talk with anyone who will listen to you. Let them know you are trying to figure out “what to do with the rest of your life.” Let them know what you are interested in and what you are good at. Believe me, they’ll have no shortage of suggestions!
  • Remember, at this point you are just trying to build up a large list of occupations. Don’t dismiss any suggestions out of hand, but don’t make any commitment to them either.

Check the fine print:

Check out your local school, university, library, employment center, or career center. They will all have a wide variety of resources that discuss the career options open to you, as well as knowledgeable people that will be glad to help you find information to help you in your exploration.

Surf the ’Net:

The Internet has a lot of tools that can help you think of possible career options. The link at the end of this paragraph will take you to some of these resources. But just remember that at this stage you are trying to build up a wide base of occupational options. When you go to these Web sites, you might want to simply look through the titles of occupations and write down those which sound interesting. Don’t get too caught up in learning a lot about these occupations at this point. (Don’t worry, you'll have lots of opportunity to research these later!) Now ... on to the resources.

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Michigan Reach Out! Home Last updated 9 July 03