Tapping into Your DREAM

Five steps to help take the stress out of picking a career

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Courtesy of the Career Development Center, Illustration by John Mueller Graphics Illustrator

Are you feeling lost about what you want to do after you graduate? Or are you having second thoughts about the career path you had planned on? The process of choosing a career can often feel overwhelming, but the Career Development Center is here to help!

Deciding on a career path becomes much simpler when you break the process down into manageable steps. This is why the Career Development Center has created the DREAM Career Decision-Making Model, which leads you through each phase of the career exploration and selection process.

Discover Yourself - The first step in the career decision-making process is discovering who you are and what you want. Begin by exploring the following questions: What do I like? What am I good at? What is important to me?

Research Careers - Begin exploring what careers are available to you and identify those of greatest interest. Look at factors such as what education and skills are required for that career, typical job tasks, work environment, salary, and work/life balance. 

Evaluate Options - Now that you have spent time reflecting on yourself and researching career options, examine how your interests, abilities, and values align with different careers. Narrow down your options to three to five careers of greatest interest.

Acquire Experience - Test out your top career options through internships, part-time work, and volunteer opportunities. The best way to figure out what you like is by giving it a try!

Make a Decision - Now that you’ve gained some experience, you must decide if you want to continue on your current path or explore other options. You may want to revisit an earlier stage in the career decision-making process, and that’s ok! Remember that this is a process, and your career wants and needs may change over time.

While everyone’s career decision-making process will look different, working through each of the above stages will help you make a thoughtful and informed decision about which career(s) you want to pursue. 

To learn more about all of our services including career counseling appointments, online resources, and employer events, please go to careers.csulb.edu, call us at (562) 985-4151, or visit us in Brotman Hall – 250.   

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