Career Development Model
After years of working with college students, new grads and emerging professionals, I developed this 5-Point Career Development Model to make it easy to have conversations with diverse students about career planning. We believe it works really well to help career center staff work with college students on where they are, how to develop their goals and what they need to work on to prepare for life beyond college. Using the 5 points in this model will help to ensure students cover all the basics. It isn’t necessary to use these 5 points in any particular order. Find out where you need to improve and jump in!
Point #1 – Personal Exploration
Career assessment tools help you explore what I call your V.I.S.A – Values, Interests, Skills and Abilities. These are some of the important factors that will influence your life and career choices. The more you know about these factors, the better you will be able to evaluate career options and make decisions. Use the Personal Exploration Links here for free or low cost career assessments and discuss the results with your career center. These are by no means the only tools available. Some of the other popular tools are Focus, Sigi, eDiscover and the Strong Interest Inventory.
Point #2 – Expand Career and Industry Awareness
Expanding your knowledge and awareness of careers and industries is a must for anyone looking to find their place in the current workplace. This research is how you will know which skills and competencies are currently in demand and which skills will be in demand in the future. Use the Career and Industry Awareness links to research careers and companies.
ONET Online – Department of Labor occupational information
Hoovers – Comprehensive business database
Wall Street Journal – News source for latest company information
InsideJobs.com – Easy to read descriptions of jobs and careers
Rutgers University Library – Business information database
Careersinfonet.org – List of professional certifications
Career One Stop – Explore careers
Point #3 – Create and Manage a Personal Brand
Everyone must take ownership of their own career plans and personal brand. New graduates and emerging professionals must definitely understand how to become the kind of professional that the labor market needs. Resumes, communication skills, interviewing skills, networking, social media and personal image management are all critical to building a personal brand.
Point #4 – Gain Experience
Experiencing meaningful, non-trivial professional experiences is a major part of ca success career strategy and impacts your longer term career satisfaction. Experience while in college will come through work, internships, co-ops, field experiences, volunteer opportunities and even study-abroad. Explore the college campus for the departments that organize these types of activities. It is possible to have a competitive resume with significant experience even before you graduate.
Lutheran Volunteer Corps – Global volunteer opportunities for students
Mercy Volunteers – Transform lives and perspectives throughout the world
Point #5 – Life After College
Emerging professionals and new alumni must develop plans for successful transitions to life after college. No one expects you to miss out on the fun of pre-graduation experiences, but I will tell you that the grads who transition successfully, do a little bit of planning and thinking ahead. The resources here will help with Graduate School, finding success in the first years on the job and just basically increasing knowledge of the world around you.
Grad School Resources – Make decisions about grad school
First Generation White Collar – Money management skills
Black Collegian – Great resource for career information
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with additional resource links. Thanks to the HBCU students, alumni and staff who have already submitted links to the free (or low cost) resources listed here. Question about a resource here? ASK Us.