Career Action Plan

Self-reflection

Career development is a lifelong process. Employment opportunities may vary throughout a person's work life. There are three fundamental questions that everyone who works both experiences and seeks to answer. Each of these questions may reappear as we "work" at our careers.

  1. What kind of work do I want to do?
  2. Am I job ready?
  3. Where are the job/work opportunities?

You must know yourself and the market demands before identifying and evaluating your options. Our mission is to help you identify your goals and connect you with opportunities!

If you are unsure about your major or career path, begin with self-reflection. In order to make informed choices about majors and careers, students need to first evaluate their values, interests, personality traits, and skills.

  1. Interests: What do you enjoy doing? What subjects do you like?
  2. Personality: What energizes you? What environment suits your learning and work style?
  3. Values: What is important to you? What motivates you to take action?
  4. Skills: What are activities in which you excel? What are your natural abilities?

Evaluating these personal areas requires honest reflection and many students and alumni find it helpful to work with a career consultant to ensure that they are conducting a thorough self-assessment. Choices Planner is an assessment tool you can use prior to meeting with your consultant. There are other assessments offered through the Career Center and, after talking with you about your interests, a consultant may recommend that you take one.

Following is a Career Action Plan that provides recommended steps beyond self-assessment to help you reach your goals.

Freshmen & First Year Students

Inquiry and Awareness

  1. Register with the Career Center through CrimsonCareers.
  2. Learn more about UA majors and explore careers that relate to them. Think of each major in terms of the skills and knowledge you will gain to prepare you for a variety of occupations. Browse the Occupational Information Network to expand your knowledge of possible careers.
  3. Review the list of classes for the majors you’re considering. Consult with an academic advisor (scroll down page for list of advisors) to plan a course of study related to your interests and career goals.
  4. Complete an informational interview with someone in a profession of interest to gain his or her perspective and advice.
  5. Get to know upperclassmen, faculty members, and administrators who can provide you with information about majors and career options. (Begin to build your career network).
  6. Visit the Community Service Center to learn about volunteering. Volunteering not only allows you to serve the community, but also to explore new career options, network, and build workplace skills that can be documented on your resume.
  7. View the Student Organizations Directory to identify opportunities for campus involvement.
  8. Working part-time or interning in your field of interest is a great way to “try out” a career while acquiring experience to add to your resume. Browse part-time opportunities for students on campus and talk with local employers about opportunities.
  9. Attend career workshops, employer panels and career fairs to learn about internships/co-op opportunities and how to be a competitive candidate for such positions.
  10. If you need help with study habits or test anxiety, visit the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Sophomores

Assessment and Exploration

  1. Scan the suggested steps recommended for freshmen as they also apply to sophomores.
  2. Meet with your academic advisor (scroll down page for list of advisors) and a career consultant if you are unsure about a major or career direction.
  3. Visit the Sylvester Jones Leadership and Career Resource Center and browse through books on writing resumes and cover letters and conducting an effective job search. You will also find books on developing leadership skills and exploring careers.
  4. Continue to be involved in campus and community activities to develop leadership and time-management skills while building your resume.
  5. Identify career mentors. Talk with a career consultant about the Alumni Career Mentor Program.
  6. Talk with the Cooperative Education Office or internship coordinators in your academic areas about applying for experiential education opportunities related to your major. Begin to develop your resume and meet with a career consultant for feedback and assistance.
  7. Update your CrimsonCareers account and post your resume online; begin searching for summer jobs or internships.
  8. Schedule a virtual or face-to-face practice interview through the Career Center.
Juniors

Gaining Career Experiences

  1. Scan the suggested steps for freshmen and sophomores as many of them also apply to juniors.
  2. Consult with your academic advisor to confirm degree requirements.
  3. Update your profile and resume on CrimsonCareers.
  4. Explore career options by viewing job descriptions in CrimsonCareers and attending employer information sessions held throughout recruiting season.
  5. Continue developing skills and relationships through student organizations, internships, part-time employment, and volunteer experiences.
  6. Research thoroughly career choices and interview professionals in your area(s) of interest.
  7. Attend career fairs and employer panels, preparing ahead of time so you can engage employers in conversation about your qualifications and employment opportunities.
  8. If appropriate for your career goals, research programs and entrance requirements for graduate school. Make plans to take entrance exams. Set up a timeline to apply for graduate and professional schools.
  9. Update your resume and talk with professors and supervisors about serving as references.
Seniors

Job Search or Grad School Planning

  1. Scan the suggested steps for juniors as many of them also apply to seniors.
  2. Meet with a career consultant to have your application materials (resume and cover letter) critiqued and to discuss different job search strategies. Begin to apply for jobs or entrance into graduate / professional schools.
  3. Schedule a practice interview if not done previously or if you wish to improve your skills.
  4. Identify both on-campus and off-campus recruiting opportunities. Sign up for on-campus interviews through CrimsonCareers. Recruiting season runs from September through November and February through April.
  5. Attend career workshops including, "Dining Etiquette," and "Networking at Receptions".
  6. Continue your efforts to build contacts through campus and community involvement and stay in touch with people in your network who can assist you in the job search.
  7. Visit the Sylvester Jones Leadership and Resource Center and the Career Center Web site for information on topics such as behavioral interviewing, salary negotiation, and relocation.
  8. Let the UA Career Center know your employment status. Your report counts toward the total placement rate which impacts UA's accreditation and ranking among universities.