The age-old dilemma: career choices come with uncertainty

By: Leonardo Cervantes

The Career and Job Services workshop covered a multitude of topics students have with career choices. The main topics discussed were dispelling career myths, steps to career planning, career counseling appointments, career assessments and College Central Network.

Career counselor Dray Banks was in charge of explaining the details of the workshop. Banks had two assistants assisting with the presentation. One being Hayley Lim who is one of the new career mentors and Rocio Nava who is also a career mentor.

The first myth that was discussed was about how most students entering college are uncertain about their academic major. National statistics vary but at least 50% of students entering college are undecided about their majors.

Another myth that was discussed was once a student declares a major, he or she will stick with it. 50-70% of students change their majors at least once and sometimes up to three times.

The final myth is you need an exact match between your course of study/major and a future career. While some careers require specific training there are more careers that do not follow a specific course of study/major. A recent study by the College Placement Council indicated that the majority of college graduates are successful in fields not directly related to their academic majors. 

Self-discovery is one of the steps to career planning. They offer your interests, personality, values, skills and abilities. C&JS ask guiding questions and make you take different types of assessments to explore who you are. And these assessments are free unlike at other campuses.

The next step is developing career literacy and researching careers. They offer you websites like BLS.gov or Occupational outlook handbook to learn about all types of careers.

Occupational outlook handbook shows you how certain careers are progressing and salaries. The US census bureau evaluates all careers and shows you the expected growth in years to come and labor market trends. They also provide what significant workforce changes will occur in the next 5-10 years

The third step to career planning is gaining experience by having part-time jobs, internships, extracurricular activities and joining clubs. The final step is setting everything in motion. Set a specific timetable for completing goals. “Short term goals create momentum for long term goals,” Banks said.

Some services that C&JS offers are individual appointments, career assessments, career and major exploration, career panels/guest speakers, resume building and job and interview skills. 

Career counseling appointments range from 30-60 minutes. Career services are typically 30 minutes and they offer major and career counseling, job search/resume writing. Career exploration is typically one hour which is career decision making. Resume critiques and job search assistance is typically an hour and they review resumes and conduct job searches.

C&JS currently offer two career assessments. The first SII, Strong Interest Inventory. This assessment focuses on your interests and how your interests help you identify a variety of different types of majors that fall within your areas.

The six different RIASEC codes are Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. MBTI known as The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the other assessment. It’s known as your personality assessment that focuses on you and your personality preferences. It focuses on 16 different personality types.

College Central Network (CCN) is ELAC’s free online job database. First you must activate your CCN account then add your resume. The next step is exploring open off and on-campus positions and the final step is applying to open positions. CCN is a database exclusive to ELAC students. 

C&JS also posts events throughout the year. The Hire a Husky Job Fair is an event C&JS hosts and is typically held during the spring semester. It’s an opportunity for students and community members to speak to employers and find job opportunities. They also host career panels which are hosted throughout the academic year, and are a great way to connect with professionals in the field and learn about various career paths. 

The next upcoming event will be on October 13, and will be the Career connect workshop from 10am-12pm. If you want to make an appointment with a counselor, appointments open on Fridays for the following week. You can schedule an appointment in person, over the phone or via Conex ED.

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