Center for Career & Professional Development

Career Planning Guide

Job satisfaction is directly related to careers that match your interests, skills, values and personality. Find a career you enjoy by following these five steps to make an informed career decision.

Complete a Self-Assessment

One way to discover enjoyable careers is to find ones that match your interests, skills, values and personality. Complete the free career assessments listed below. Assessments increase your self-awareness about your preferences and shows how your preferences match career opportunities. Use the appointment scheduler, to discuss the results with a Career Advisor.  Each assessment takes about only 7 minutes to complete.  

  • My Next Move: Interest Profiler -  Determine work that interests you.   This assessment provides the Holland interests code that is matched in the Occupational Network profiles. 

  • Skills Matcher - Find out how your current skills match careers.  
    (If a career of interest is not a match, use the Occupational Network to learn about the skills required for that position.)

  • CliftonStrengths Themes - Identify your top strengths and how you use them academically, professionally and personally.  

  • Career Values Assessment - Learn about what motivates you at work. This assessment provides the work values that is matched in the Occupational Network profiles.

  • 16 Personalities - Similar to a MyersBriggs Type Indicator, this free personality test informs you of careers that fit your personality style.

Gather Occupational Data

Read about occupations that match your interests, skills, values and personality traits. In this step, you should be gathering data about the nature of the work, working conditions, training and education requirements, skills required, employment projections and salaries. Then use the Career Planning Exercise to match your preferences to careers and compare different options.

Take a look at the following resources to help you gather this information.

Candid Careers: Hear from the professionals working within different fields through short video clips.

Career Coach: Browse careers and academic programs. Gain real-time data on wages and employment projections.  

CareerOneStop: A comprehensive source of information to explore a variety of careers and industries. It is important to gain occupational information and trends within an industry because it can make a difference in job growth and salaries. Includes career videos, a military transition portal and much more.

Learn How to Become - Explore careers related to majors, determine the skill requirements and the steps to achieve your goals.
My Florida Future - Research is available to help students and families make informed decisions about educational and career options in the state of Florida. The dashboard demonstrates graduate outcomes, graduate salaries and student debt. Find out why US News and World Report ranks Florida University Systems as #1 for the past five years. 
Occupational Info Network (ONET): In addition to providing occupational data and research, ONET will assist you in exploring careers using a skill or tool and will crosswalk careers from the military into civilian careers. Review the work values, skills and the interest sections on ONET to compare them with your self-assessment. 

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity provides insight on salaries and employment projections.

Events on Campus: Attend a career expo on campus to explore careers or meet with a mentor to expand your industry connections and understanding.

Connect Majors to Careers

Considering a major and wondering what you can do with it? A major can open the door to a cluster of careers. Explore the What Can I do with this Major? and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find typical job titles, types of employers, and gain a glimpse of the employment projections and wages. Hear directly from professional's perspective who are working in the career with Candid Career videos

Interview Others About Your Career Options

The best way to gain the greatest amount of insight into your career options is to speak with the experts. Try the following steps:

  • Ask your professor(s) about the career.
  • Talk to a Career Advisor about academic programs and their connections to career options you are interested in.
  • Talk to a professional working in your career of interest. This is the most important step in the career decision making process and is called an informational interview. You can gain valuable information directly from the professional about the skills required for the position, the trends in the field and the typical projects or assignments they perform. This is one way of test-driving your career before you invest your time and money into an academic program.

Make a Decision

You’ve made it to the final step!

You have gathered occupational information. You had fun visiting with faculty, advisors and professionals working in a field of interest. Now it’s time to make a decision. You may be able to decide on a major, which can lead to different career options. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a preference in the courses offered in one major over another major?
  • What are the pros and cons of one career over another?
  • How well does this career fit my personality, values, interests and skills?
  • How determined am I in pursuing this major?
  • What are the rewards or challenges that I might encounter along the journey?

After considering your answers and making a decision, put your goals in writing using the Career Goal Setting Exercise. We wish you the best of luck and will be here when you need us!