Making Career Choices
Making good career choices can
be exciting, rewarding, fun, and frustrating! To help you make
career decisions, Cape Fear Community College provides you with
this step-by-step approach to career planning.*
Steps in Career Planning
1. Understand your interests, abilities, values, and personality.
~What do you enjoy doing and do well? What are your hobbies? Your favorite school subjects?
~What features do you like and dislike in your work, household chores, and volunteer work?
Need help in understanding yourself in relation to career preferences? See your high school counselor or CFCC career counselor.
2. Explore different careers.
~What occupations sound exciting to you?
~Can you find someone in the community with a similar occupation and talk with them?
~Ask yourself, "Would you like to be doing this job all day?"
~Why not explore careers
by working at temporary services, internships and co-ops? Need
more information about careers? Search for books, videos, information
on computer, and visit school career centers.
3. Learn about education and training for occupations of interest.
~How much school is required for these careers? One, two, or four years?
~Where are these schools and how much will this training cost?
Need to examine your options?
Talk to your high school counselor or CFCC counselor.
People? Data? Things? Ideas?
Occupations are classified into
categories-- people, data, things, and ideas. Do you see yourself
working with people? With data? With things? With ideas? Or
a combination of these categories?
Do you enjoy working with and
for other people--educating, counseling, and informing? Are you
friendly and like to help others? Examples of people-related occupations
are day care workers, teachers, sales representatives, police
officers, social workers, psychologists, recreation workers,
Do you like to explore ideas and
analyze data? Do you have abilities in math and science? Are
you curious and often like to work independently? Examples of
data-related occupations are accounting/office clerks, paralegals,
engineers, medical transcriptionists, and lab techs.
Things or "Hands-On" Related Occupations
Do you like working with your
hands to build or produce things? Are you mechanically inclined
and enjoy working outside and on machinery? "Hands-on "
occupations are machinsts, electricians, truck drivers, chefs,
builders, auto mechanics, and welders.
Are you creative? Do you enjoy the performing and visual arts? Are you always thinking of new ideas and innovations?
Idea-related occupations include
interior designers, artists, musicians, computer programmers,
architects, and chemists.
You can have occupations that combine categories such as people/data (radiologic technologists, pharmacy technicians, dental assistants, and nurses)
or data/"hands-on" (marine science technicians, drafter, engineering and computer systems technicians).
*North Carolina State Occupational
Informational Coordinating Committee. "Career Choices in
North Carolina," No. 13, 1996-1997.