Defining your goals
At this point in your career, your goals may be specific, or they may be more open. Whatever your goals, it’s important to think about how you would like to develop professionally, and how your profession will fit into other aspects of your life. Even if you don’t know what job you want to have in twenty years, it’s helpful if you begin your job search with a clear idea of the skills you can bring to a job, the tasks at which you excel, and the work environment that is most compatible with you.
If you’re still deciding which careers best align with your skills, interests, and personality, UT’s Career Exploration Center offers several tests that can help you better determine and define your interests. Detailed personality tests are available for a small fee http://www.utexas.edu/student/cec/testing/tests.html . If you already have a sense of your career direction, you might find the Birkman Method tests particularly useful in exploring the roles and work environments that are best for you. You can also explore several free options as well http://www.utexas.edu/student/cec/testing/resources.html. Before taking these tests, you might consider the following questions:
- What issues interest me most?
- What contributions would I like to make?
- What role do I want to hold in my job?(i.e. quantitative analysis, managing other people, advising decision-makers, making decisions, etc.)
- What do I look for in an employer? [e.g. opportunities for advancement, level of remuneration, job security, balance between work and other aspects of life]
- Where would I like to live? Where would I not like to live?
- What careers do my skills and experiences prepare me for?