P a g e | 1
THE CAREER PLANNING JOURNEY
How do you make a career decision? Is it a lucky guess? A process of elimination? A family pronouncement? A childhood
dream? And what factors influence these decisions? A favourite television show? An inspirational role model? A great
summer job or a wonderful volunteer opportunity? Good grades or not-so-good grades? Perhaps that one elective that
turns out to be the key?
One thing is certain: there is no “one size fits all” approach to career decision-making. For some, a decision is made early
and with confidence. For others, parents have a huge influence on the decision. Some students make plans that need
revision as they compete for spots in very competitive programs. For most, it is a journey, a series of opportunities
punctuated by moments of reflection that may help shed light on the next step, not necessarily the final goal. The
journey can be exciting, chaotic, challenging, and rewarding, all at the same time.
“WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE?”
“WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE?”
“WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH
THAT
DEGREE?”
These seemingly straightforward questions are usually not quite so simple, as most students can attest. Sometimes it
seems that we are expected to know before we even take a class. We search for the answer, often with no direction or
help. The earlier we get it, the better (even if it really doesn’t make tons of sense). At least we can answer the questions.
Career planning is a process and a journey, not a one-time decision. Highs and lows, good times and bad, are to be
expected. You’re not alone: many people feel this way. In fact, looking back, people often say the challenges, set-backs,
and confusion helped guide them to their eventual decisions.
Through this book you will explore yourself, including your:
Different aspects of these self-exploration methods and exercises will be more or less useful for different people. Feel
free to use the ones that are most helpful and comfortable for you.
Based on the information you learn about yourself, you will begin to:
INTERESTS
VALUESPERSONALITY
SUBJECT
PREFERENCES
IDENTIFY OCCUPATIONS
RESEARCH OCCUPATIONS
LEARN HOW TO MAKE
CAREER DECISIONS
LEARN STRATEGIES FOR
CAREER GOAL SETTING
SUPPORT
Having support can go a long way in helping you define and reach your career goals. You don’t have to do it on your
own! Where do you find support? It could be from friends, family, professors, or a Career Consultant. Bouncing ideas off
of someone else and getting a new perspective from a supportive listener often helps.
Career Services: We are Here to Help
University of Manitoba students needing career planning support can get help at Career Services. Our programs and
services are designed to help you develop skills that will help you navigate the career planning waters at university and
beyond.
Career Planning and Academic Advising
You need an academic plan. Follow the Academic Calendar to outline degree requirements for
graduation. Meet with an Academic Advisor to talk about admission and program
requirements, to support your academic success.
Career Planning includes academic planning, but the focus is on occupational outcomes. When
career planning, the question should be “What occupational goal am I supporting?” not “What
can I do with this degree?” Career planning includes consideration of activities that support the
degree and occupational goal and can include working, volunteering, networking, and other
related activities.
Most Career Consultants have met students who have identified career goals but who feel the need to revise their goals
PRIYA’S STORY
Looking back, I realize that my approach was unrealistic. When I finished high school, I had a career goal and a
lot of confidence. My grades were high, I had done some research, and I was convinced that it would be
straightforward path to my goal. I didn’t really understand why some of my friends were so confused. My
parents were so proud and told their friends about my goal.
By the end of the first semester, I was worried. My grades were not high enough. I had dropped a required
course, and I was starting to feel I was spending money without a plan. I didn’t know how to tell my parents. I
was stressed out.
I visited the First Year Centre and my academic advisor referred me to Career Services. It became clear quickly
that there were many options that I hadn’t considered, mostly because I’d never heard of them. Really, I hadn’t
researched my first idea very well. I had dedicated less than an hour to it and never looked at anything else.
My Career Consultant showed me a big book of options but we decided it was better to think about me first
my interests, needs, preferences, even my grades. We agreed to meet again after I had completed some
exercises. In the back of my mind, I started to feel a bit better, like there might be a number of options out there
for me.
U of M students can access career planning support from acceptance to six months after
graduation. Come talk to us.
P a g e | 3
due to other challenges such as financial or health issues. A Career Consultant can help you directly or can refer you to
an on-campus service or program. Check this directory for a list of on-campus services available for students.
SAM’
S STORY
Being a student and trying to keep up with rent and bills meant that I needed to work long hours in retail to
make ends meet. I realized this was impacting my studies, since my manager wasn’t flexible about giving me
time off for school, but I couldn’t quit because I needed the money. I was also getting frustrated since it felt like
I had learned everything I could in two years of this position. When I spoke with a Career Consultant, she
suggested I apply for Work Study to get a job on campus. This allowed me to explore new interests while still
being able to support myself. It was so helpful to have someone to talk to and help me through the process of
applying for a new job and leaving my old one.
GOAL SETTING AND ACTION PLANNING
You will need to set goals for yourself at all points of the career planning process. Well-defined career goals can inform
important career planning decisions and propel you to action. You do not need to know precisely where you are headed
to begin making thoughtful career decisions. Set goals throughout the career planning process: goals to take steps to
learn about yourself, goals to get experience, goals to take certain classes or get certain grades.
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
SPECIFIC
MEASURABLE
ACHIEVABLE
RELEVANT
TIME-LIMITED
Make sure each goal is smart! Read Kim’s story for an example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
KIM
’S STORY
When I started at the U of M, I chose courses that looked interesting. After three years of part-time study, I
realized I needed to get more serious. I was working 20 hours/week in retail, had no major, and no concrete
direction. Just taking courses wasn’t helping. I decided to drop-in to meet a Career Consultant. After some work
and research, I decided that I wanted to try to start moving into the field of communications or public relations,
maybe even fundraising. I hadn’t even thought of these options before. My Consultant reminded me that people
can’t choose options that they don’t know about! I know that I am a person who has trouble following through
with my plans so I wrote down some goals, remembering what I learned about S.M.A.R.T. goals. Here they are:
1. Make an appointment today to meet with my Career Consultant in six weeks to check in.
2. Choose a major and minor before my registration date. Meet an Academic Advisor in two weeks to make
sure I am aware of the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
3. Look into the Work Study program (mid-August) to see if there are any jobs that would help me gain
communications experience. Apply by the deadline after visiting the Resume Learning Centre.
4. Join the Career Mentor Program in early September to meet a communications specialist and a
fundraiser to get advice about the types of experiences I should consider.
After all my goal-setting, I felt a lot better about school and my future path.
Exploring career options can be complicated: many factors go into your decision. Drop in
to talk to us: a Career Consultant can help you explore and determine your next steps.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal-Setting Exercise
Set a Goal Reminder
Try a goal-setting worksheet. Go to pages 43-44 of
Manitoba Career Development’s Plan Your Career
workbook.
Dear Me: How are those plans coming along? Give
yourself a gentle reminder to work on your career goals.
Set a future reminder in your digital calendar or write one
down in your day planner.
TIP:
Make goals as you go. Each section of this book includes a yellow note box. Write down occupations
you plan to explore further and also note any goals that come to mind. For example, the Education
and Subject Preferences section might prompt you to make it your goal to take a particular course.
USING THIS GUIDE
This guide is designed to be used digitally: it’s a writable PDF with multiple links to resources and websites throughout.
Make sure you download and save a copy of the Career Planner so that you can keep what you type into the boxes on
each page. Writing down the information you uncover about yourself and the careers that attract your interest is a great
way to keep track of your exploration. All of the written exercises are compiled in Appendix A if you would prefer to
print only those pages to use as you work your way through the exercises in this book.
Career Planning takes time. You will need to learn about yourself, research occupations, and try out your ideas by
working, volunteering, and taking classes. Do what you can when you can. Be patient with yourself. Don’t expect to
complete all of the exercises in this book in one sitting and stand up with a fully formed career plan ready to go. This is
an important decision and it deserves careful consideration. Give yourself room to explore.
P a g e | 5
LET’S START WITH YOU
Before we begin in-depth self-exploration, let’s warm up with
an overview of what you already know about yourself. There
are no wrong answers and it is okay to leave a box blank: we
will go into each of these areas in more detail later on.
MY CAREER IDEAS: PAST AND PRESENT
MY SUPPORT SYSTEM AND RESOURCES
Who is in my support
network?
What on campus supports
might I use?
Do I have enough financial
support?
Do I have enough
academic support?
SCHOOL
How do I like to learn?
My Favourite & Least
Favourite Classes
Subjects I Want To Try
How do I feel about
school? My GPA?
ME, MY INTERESTS, MY FEELINGS
My Interests
(activities and topics most engaging for me)
My Personal Qualities
(individual differences, how I think, feel, behave))
My Values
(ex: creativity, salary, independence)
My Gifts and Talents
What difference do I want to make?
What problems do I want to solve?
Do I feel confident or hopeful about
my career?
LET’S GET CREATIVE
Write a metaphor to describe how you feel about your
career.
Draw a picture or diagram to represent your career
reflections: use a separate piece of paper.
Use magazines and pictures to make a vision board of
what you want for your future.
YOUR EDUCATION AND SUBJECT PREFERENCES
University students have spent years in school and often have strong opinions about subject preferences. Why not use
your educational experiences as a starting place for exploring your occupational interests? Do you have a favourite
course? Does field work appeal to you? Can you lose yourself in a complex math equation? Do you love learning to
speak Spanish, perform music, or study disasters?
The University of Manitoba offers over 100 different programs and thousands of courses. Your choices, preferences, and
grades can provide valuable career planning information. Think broadly: a love of law does not mean you have to be a
lawyer. RCMP officers, immigration officers, and political scientists also require legal knowledge. Enjoy chemistry but
also art? Why not explore art conservation? Assess your preferences, think outside the box, and visit Career Services for
help identifying options.
Let’s Get Started
Use your university registration history on Aurora and memories of your high school education to consider your subject
interests.
WRITE YOUR ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS
WHAT WERE YOUR FAVOURITE COURSES THROUGHOUT SCHOOL?
WHY DID YOU LIKE IT? CONSIDER THE TEACHER, YOUR GRADE, AND
PROJECTS YOU LOVED.
WHICH COURSES DID YOU REALLY NOT ENJOY?
EXPLAIN ANY CHALLENGES YOU DEAL WITH THAT MADE SOME OR
MOST COURSES DIFFICULT.
P a g e | 7
Connecting Your Academic Information to Careers
There are a variety of methods to generate career ideas based on the subjects you are most interested in.
Career Compass
ONET Online
A Career Compass can be used to learn more about the
possible career outcomes of different U of M programs.
Pay attention to the career section on the right sidebar.
Do you like multiple subjects? Use multiple Compasses
and meet a Career Consultant at Career Services for help.
Use ONET Online, a US resource, to generate job ideas
that match your subject preferences. Click on a
knowledge area you are interested in for a list of related
occupations, then click on each title for more
information. Record any interesting titles in the box
below.
Explore Careers by Education
LinkedIn
The Canadian government’s Career Tool can give you a
national view of what other graduates have done with
their degrees. Search your subject area of interest to find
common job titles, wages, employment statistics, and
current job postings.
If you have LinkedIn, be sure to join the University of
Manitoba’s educational page. From here, you can explore
the careers of current students and alumni, searching by
what they studied. Discover the career paths of alumni:
their degrees, where they work, and what got them
there.
JAN
’S STORY
I started first year with direct entry into Science, which I felt would lead to good career opportunities. By
December of my second year, I needed to reevaluate. I was worried that I wasn’t making progress so I decided
to get serious about my decisions. I thought I could start by considering school subjects. I made a list of my
favourite courses before university. I realized that I had always been very interested in courses about people.
My favourite part of biology was studying the human body. I was also involved in band and music played a vital
role in my high school life. In Grade 11, I started to have wrist pain from playing upright bass and I visited an
Occupational Therapist to adapt my playing. I remember thinking this was a cool job. I then looked at my
completed University of Manitoba classes. My best grade was in psychology and I really enjoyed anatomy and
physiology, more so than my other science courses. After seeing a poster for an Occupational Therapy
information session, I attended and realized that I could combine my interests in biology and psychology
through this occupation. Someday I may be able to work with musicians and incorporate my love of music too! I
know now that I was attracted to certain subjects for a reason. I just didn’t know enough about different
occupations to identify this particular pathway.
Write notes about what you learned about yourself in this section in the following box:
MY TOP COURSES ARE:
BASED ON MY ACADEMIC INTERESTS, I’D LIKE TO EXPLORE THE FOLLOWING
OCCUPATIONS:
MY GOAL(S):
YOUR INTERESTS
Your exams are looming and you’ve been studying for weeks. Would you rather be hiking or knitting, cooking or
examining your fossil collection? Your interests, those activities or subjects that are wholly engaging, can be great career
planning clues. Interests can be expressed outright as answers to direct questions, or measured through a variety of
assessment tools that help match your interests to occupational options.
1
Let’s Get Started on your Expressed Interests
Identify your interests by simply exploring what it is you love to do. Try answering the following questions:
WRITE YOUR ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHEN YOU LOSE TRACK OF TIME?
ARE THERE ACTIVITIES THAT YOU CAN’T IMAGINE NOT DOING?
HAVE YOUR COURSE SELECTIONS CORRESPONDED WITH YOUR
INTERESTS? EXPLAIN.
WHAT OCCUPATIONS MAY MATCH YOUR INTERESTS? BE CREATIVE!
YOU CAN FILTER THIS LATER.
Online Search
Begin exploring your interests using the internet.
Google
OCCInfo
Identify occupations that match your interests through a
Google search. For example, search “hiking” + “career.”
Use Alberta’s OCCInfo site search box. Search keywords to
identify new options.
1
Silvia, 2001
P a g e | 9
Assessments: Measure Your Interests
The Holland Code can by used to connect occupations to an individual’s interests. Assessments using this theory
measure your interest level in 6 areas then generate a list of careers that are typically enjoyed by people with similar
interests to yours. The idea is that if you are similar to people who usually like that job, you might like it too.
Write notes about what you learned about yourself in this section in the following box:
MY HOLLAND CODE IS:
BASED ON MY INTERESTS, I’D LIKE TO EXPLORE THE FOLLOWING OCCUPATIONS:
MY HOLLAND CODE IS:
MyNextMove
Strong Interest Inventory
MyNextMove is a free web-based assessment tool that
provides your Holland Code and a list of corresponding
occupations. All labour market information is American.
A trained professional at Career Services can administer
this empirical assessment for a $30 fee.
Identify options that correspond to interests, determine
preferred learning settings, and explore your preferences.
Exploring your interests with someone else can be a big help! Drop In to talk to us.
YOUR PERSONALITY
Do you get energized by being alone, or when amongst other people? Do you get a feeling of satisfaction from checking
something off your list, or are you more engaged by the process than the product? When making decisions, are you
focused more on how people are impacted or on what is logical? Understanding your personality can be valuable when
exploring careers, allowing you to reflect on your motivations and what gives you energy in a working environment. This
can in turn help you to consider what you need from your career to feel fulfilled.
2
One way to look at personality is through the 16 personality types, with each person having a preference on each of four
dimensions:
HOW YOU INTERACT WITH
THE WORLD
HOW YOU EVALUATE INFORMATION
HOW YOU MAKE DECISIONS
HOW YOU TACKLE LIFE OR
WORK PROJECTS
2
Tieger and Barron, 2007
EXTRAVERTED
INTROVERTED
SENSING
INTUITION
THINKING
FEELING
JUDGING
PERCEIVING
Want detailed information about assessing personality? Check out myersbriggs.org. You
can also Drop In to talk to us or use the personality books in our career library.
P a g e | 11
Personality can be measured in numerous ways. Here are a few options for determining your type:
The MBTI
Checklists
Free Online Assessments
The most in-depth career related
assessment is the Myers-Briggs
Typology Inventory (MBTI), which is
always interpreted by a certified
practitioner. Take the MBTI at
Career Services for $30.
You can also use a checklist to
determine your personality type. Try
this version on personalitytype.com,
created by writers of the popular
personality book Do What You Are.
Free personality assessments of
varying quality exist online. Try
Truity.com’s The Typefinder Research
Edition for the free version of their
Briggs Meyers based personality
assessment.
Connecting Your Personality Type to Careers
Use your personality type to expand or refine your list of careers to explore with the following strategies:
Think Critically
Tieger & Barron:
Do What You Are
Truity.com
Consider how your type relates to the
careers you are interested in. What
does this tell you about your career
needs? Do the careers you are
considering meet those needs?
This book lists careers by type. Stop
by Career Services, 474 University
Centre, to browse our copy or take a
look at the public library or
bookstore.
Explore your type on truity.com. You
will find overviews of each type,
followed by a page listing the careers
enjoyed by people with the same
personality type.
DIA
’S STORY
When I met with my Career Consultant, we talked about a lot of factors that impacted my career decision. The
one that stuck out the most for me, though, was my personality. I am definitely an introverted person and I
need a quiet environment to do my best. My parents wanted me to do business or law, but it seemed like I
might have to work in a hectic environment among people all of the time. This felt very unappealing to me. We
talked about ideas for how I could stay in business to please my parents, but work in a way I felt more
comfortable. That is how we came to the idea of being an actuary, which I think might make us all happy. I also
decided to use the Career Mentor Program to speak with a few lawyers to better understand the work
environments.
Write notes about what you learned about yourself in this section in the following box:
MY PERSONALITY TYPE IS:
BASED ON MY PERSONALITY, I’D LIKE TO EXPLORE THE FOLLOWING OCCUPATIONS:
MY GOAL(S):
VALUES
Career values are personal preferences and needs that, when met in a job, allow the worker to feel more satisfied. Your
values might have developed from your personal experiences, your culture, socio-economic status and your individual
likes and dislikes, to name just a few potential influences.
Take a minute to consider the work of your friends and family members. What motivates them to commit time and
energy to their jobs? Perhaps it is their pay and benefits, the chance to help others, independence, creativity or some
combination. Are they foregoing one value to ensure that others are met? Have their priorities changed over time?
Examples of work values include:
Identifying and prioritizing career values can be challenging as many factors can play a role in their establishment. You
may have heard of, or experienced, a career values clash with a significant other. When parents and students don’t
agree on career outcomes, it is possible that their values are at odds.
Career Consultants are available to help you consider your career values and identify occupations and programs where
they may be met. The following are tools that may be helpful to get you started:
Knowdell Career Values Card
Sort
O*NET Work Importance Profiler
(WIP)
Career Values and Questions
This card sort is a hands-on tool for
identifying and prioritizing your
values. There are 54 cards explaining
each factor as it relates to career
satisfaction. Drop by Career Services
to access the card sort deck and
worksheet.
This computer based tool can be
used to explore values and connect
them to the world of work. Values
explored include: Relationships,
Achievement, Independence,
Recognition, Working Conditions and
Support. Access the WIP online or at
Career Services.
Use the Career Mentor Program’s
Values List to explore your values
further. This list, and the associated
questions, can help you to consider
whether an occupation fits within the
values that are important to you.
You can also try this checklist.
WORK-LIFE
BALANCE
ADVENTURE
HIGH
EARNINGS
ACHIEVEMENT
CREATIVITY
HELP OTHERS
AUTHORITY
VARIETY
LOCATION
P a g e | 13
TIP:
Be specific. The values described in these resources are often vague, so be sure to consider what
they mean to you. For example, if a high salary is important to you, note the income that a job would
need to provide in order to fulfill this value. Don’t make assumptions. This will help later on during
the research and decision making process.
Connecting Your Values to Careers
Once you’ve identified the values that matter most to you, you can begin to use them to identify and narrow down
career options.
Career Consultant
OnetOnline Work Values Resource
Drop by Career Services to chat with a Career Consultant.
We can help answer any questions that come from a
values clarification exercise.
The Work Values Resource allows you to enter up to
three of the values identified with the Work Importance
Profiler to generate a list of occupational options.
ILIE
’S STORY
By the time I got to university, I had considered careers in everything from health to public relations. I decided
to take a variety of classes in my first year to see what I liked and hopefully be able to choose a major. By
summer, I was no closer to making a decision: I had high marks in all of my classes and had genuinely enjoyed
almost all of them. For me, using subject preferences or my interests to make a decision wasn’t working very
well because my interests were so broad and it felt like I could go absolutely any direction. I ended up looking at
my values to begin to narrow down the list of twelve seemingly equal possibilities I had created for myself. For
me, job security, creativity, independence, variety, and helping people were my top values. Looking at my
options through this lens allowed me to quickly realize that many of the occupations on my list didn’t meet
these needs. As I began to research my (now much smaller) list of occupations further, I kept my values in mind.
As someone who loves variety, it was easy for me to be attracted to a wide variety of occupations. That being
said, within each of these individual occupations, there was often not as much variety as I craved. I didn’t make
a decision right away. Instead, I worked with my Academic Advisor and Career Consultant to keep my options
open for a while. By the time I graduated with my psychology degree, I had all of the experiential and academic
requirements for further education in speech language pathology, child life therapy, school psychology, and
education. I applied to each and ended up getting accepted to speech language pathology in another province
and Education at U of M. When comparing these two options, I realized that at this point in time, location was
an important value to me and I did not want to relocate for school. I’m almost done my teaching degree, but I
know I am not done exploring careers yet. I will definitely do a Master’s in Education someday. I just don’t know
if it will be in Inclusive Education, Second Language Education, or Guidance Counselling!
Write notes about what you learned about yourself in this section in the following box:
MY TOP VALUES ARE:
BASED ON MY VALUES, I’D LIKE TO EXPLORE THE FOLLOWING OCCUPATIONS:
MY GOAL(S):
WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED SO FAR: YOUR IDEAS
By going through the exercises in this book, you have explored your subject preferences, interests, personality, and
values and have begun to generate ideas of occupations that might be worth investigating further. You’ve also started to
think about your goals. Let’s compile what you’ve learned so far here:
Subject preferences, interests, personality
traits, values, other important information
c
Occupational Ideas to Explore
Are there options that have appeared more
than once? Can you find a common thread that
connects your ideas?
My Goals
Sometimes it can be hard to make decisions because of school, money, family pressure,
health, or another challenge. Come talk to us or another on campus support.
P a g e | 15
GETTING THE BEST INFORMATION ABOUT CAREER IDEAS
Reliable and comprehensive career information is a critical piece of the decision-making puzzle. Although much of it is
well-intentioned, a great deal of career advice is based on incomplete or even incorrect information:
YOU SHOULD GO INTO THAT
FACULTY. EVERYONE GETS JOBS.”
THE PAY FOR THAT JOB IS
TERRIBLE.
EVERYBODY WHO DOES THAT JOB
IS STRESSED OUT.
Occupations are not universally “good” or “bad” but should always be considered in the context of individual needs and
preferences. What is “good” for you may not be “good” for another person. You may have some established
occupational goals in mind or you may have identified some new options through assessment. It’s time to start
exploring.
Good research can help you:
Identify Other Viable Options
Assess if the Occupation is a Good Fit
Students often prefer to narrow options down quickly but
it is often helpful to broaden the scope before choosing a
few options.
Think critically: remember that good options should stand
up to examination. Consider what you’ve learned about
yourself through the exercises in this book. If you
discover something is not a fit, move on to other
possibilities.
Career information, including information about the labour market and educational options, is available everywhere, if
you are only looking! Podcasts, social media services, documentaries, university calendars, and professional associations
are a few examples of “hidden” sources of information. Here are a few other reliable sources to get you started:
Exploring Occupations
Informational Interview
Check out Exploring Occupations or come in to see our
occupational library. Find salary information, outlook,
duties, educational requirements, and the Holland Code
of people typically satisfied in each occupation. See the
related occupations sidebar to broaden your options.
Why not talk to someone who actually does the job? Get
advice and support in an informational interview. Use our
Career Mentor Program or approach people
independently to learn more about their careers.
ANDRE
’S STORY
I came to university because it seemed like the next step, but I had no idea what I wanted from my career. In
my first and second year, I took courses that I thought might be interesting. Towards the end of second year I
was getting a bit worried: I needed to choose a faculty, but I was concerned because the classes I liked best
were humanities, and I didn’t think there were any jobs in the field besides being a teacher. I saw a poster for
Career Services and decided to drop in. My Career Consultant talked to me about my interest in history and
writing, how I prefer work behind the scenes, and my interest in culture. We also talked about my style: I
definitely am an organized person who loves efficiency. We discussed a few ideas, but the ones that stood out
to me the most were archivist and technical writer. I hadn’t even realized these were jobs! I am still not sure
what I want to do, but I am going to volunteer at the provincial archives and take a technical writing class in the
fall to see if that can help me decide. It is possible to keep both ideas open.
Career Cruising
careerCONNECT
Career Cruising features labour market information,
interviews, videos, and a link to Indeed, a job search site.
Students can contact Career Services for access to our
username and password.
Each year, numerous career events are held to help
students explore options, network, and meet employers.
Login or register as a student on careerCONNECT, Career
Services’ online portal.
EXPERIENCE: The Best Way to Learn About the World of Work
Get active and engaged with the world of work. While good research is critical, experience can teach you even more.
Here are a few tips for great career exploration:
DECISION-MAKING
A great deal of hard work, time, and thoughtful reflection can result in a satisfying career decision. Remember that
decisions made today aren’t set in stone—they represent the “best option” based on available information. Informed
decisions can guide next steps. Take advantage of unforeseen opportunities that may arise on your career journey.
Deciding is Tough
You’ve done your research, you have met your Career Mentors, and found a related summer job and now … you change
your mind. For some people, this might feel like they’re back at square one and can lead to sleepless nights. For others,
considering new career possibilities is invigorating. Either way, this is completely normal: as you evolve as a person and
grow as a professional, your career aspirations will also change. Here are a few tips for proceeding:
TALK TO A
CAREER
CONSULTANT
Your Career Consultant can help you assess your decision-making style and provide
recommendations to help you understand and refine your approach to decision-making.
More information and exploration may be the key.
KEEP OPTIONS
OPEN
Career Consultants can also help you proceed with your plans while keeping a number of
related options open. Programs can be competitive and it may be helpful to establish parallel
plans. For example, if your plan is to become a counsellor, you might keep the options of
clinical psychologist, guidance counsellor, and addictions worker open by doing an honours
psychology degree and getting experience with youth dealing with addiction.
STUDENT
COUNSELLING
CENTRE
Meet with a Counsellor at the Student Counselling Centre to get help with decision-making.
Many factors can impact your ability to move forward including the influence of other people
or another difficulty that can be addressed through personal counselling.
TAKE
INTERESTING
COURSES
ENGAGE WITH
PROFESSORS
WORK
VOLUNTEER
JOIN
PROFESSIONAL
ASSOCIATIONS
JOIN STUDENT
GROUPS
Use Job Search: Your Career from First Year to Graduation to learn how to research
employers and find part-time, full-time, and summer work.
P a g e | 17
TIP:
Handling not getting in. Sometimes a student makes a decision, but the program is highly
competitive and requires a high GPA. If you don’t get in, or you want to parallel plan in advance, talk
to a Career Consultant or check out: Parallel Planning For Competitive Admissions.
Decision-Making Exercises
There are many techniques for making a decision: from pros and cons lists to creating a vision board. Consider your style
and try multiple methods. Remember, it is important to keep gathering information through research, networking, and
getting involved in the field to ensure you are basing your decision on solid information about yourself, the industry, and
the profession.
Visioning Exercise
Comparison Chart
Vividly imagining your work day for each occupation you
are considering can be an excellent way to determine
which position feels like the best fit. Pay attention to your
feelings and thoughts and reflect on how they compare
for each position. Try Appendix B: Visioning Exercise.
If you benefit from having information laid out clearly on
paper, try making yourself a chart. List the important
information about yourself throughout this book, then
rate each occupation on how much it meets each of the
needs you’ve identified. See the worksheet in Appendix
C.
MOVING FORWARD: Goal Setting Revisited
Setting goals is crucial throughout your career planning journey. If you know where you are headed, you can carefully
choose an educational program and supporting experiences to help acquire the requisite skills. Choosing a program is
not enough! Revisit the S.M.A.R.T. goals section at the beginning of this guide for a goal setting refresher.
Remember, S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
SPECIFIC
MEASURABLE
ACHIEVABLE
RELEVANT
TIME-LIMITED
YOUR CAREER JOURNEY: Go For It
Career journeys are not about making a final decision that will remain the same for the rest of your life. Often, someone
might begin heading in one direction, and as they learn more and meet more people, they discover a new passion to
follow. This is why putting yourself out there to try things is so important. Don’t stand still as you try to decide. Take
classes, talk to people, volunteer, get a part-time job. You will discover more about yourself: your interests, your
passions, how you prefer to work. You will also learn more about the realities of a particular industry, company, or
occupation. Whether you are trying to choose between a couple of options, you have no idea, or you have a specific goal
in mind, experience is absolutely crucial to learn about who you are and to build the skills that will take you to the next
steps on your career journey. In short: go for it and the rest will follow.
JOB SEARCH: Build Skills, Meet People, and Reach Your Career Goals
The next step is to use our online job search guide. It explains how to research occupations, identify industries, find
employers, and build the experiences you need to reach your goals. It is important for you to identify the skills you have
and will need in your future career. You have already started to develop skills through your studies, work experiences,
sports, and even at home. Many of these skills will be transferable, like communication or teamwork, meaning you will
be able to grow and apply them in a variety of settings. Take time to evaluate your current skills and find opportunities
to develop them further. As you work your way through this next guide, you can begin to assess your skills and consider
the experiences you will need to develop professionally. Whether you are in your first year or about to graduate, it is
crucial that you start taking steps towards your career goals.
ANN’S STORY
When I first came to U of M as an international student, I knew very little about working in Canada. Back home,
students don’t have to worry about working until graduation. In second year, someone told me how important
it is to get Canadian work experience. I decided to meet with a Career Consultant. I had a lot to learn! I hadn’t
worked before so I wasn’t really sure what I liked to do other than my favourite subjects. We came up with a
plan: I would start by volunteering to build skills and learn about myself. I learned I liked the budgeting and
planning side of the student group I joined. When I talked to my Career Consultant again, we identified some
occupations and industries that might work for me. I explored co-op options. Now in my third year I am looking
for a summer job that will get my foot in the door at one of the organizations where I might like to work after
graduation.
IN CONCLUSION (OR MAYBE NOT!)
Numerous opportunities to use the tools, tips, resources and supports presented in this guide will occur throughout your
time at the University of Manitoba. As you proceed through your career, you will be faced with exciting and challenging
decisions. Remember to review this guide or other career planning resources as you travel.
The world of work is vast and diverse, full of exciting possibilities. Similarly, educational options abound. Career plans
can be altered, often successfully and relatively easily, with an injection of new information, support, and creativity. If
the journey feels difficult or frustrating, help is available. Why not visit us in-person or on-line to learn more about our
programs and services?
P a g e | 19
Appendix A: Your Printable Career Planning Notebook
LET’S START WITH YOU
Before we begin in-depth self-exploration, let’s warm up with
an overview of what you already know about yourself. There
are no wrong answers and it is okay to leave a box blank: we
will go into each of these areas in more detail later on.
MY CAREER IDEAS: PAST AND PRESENT
MY SUPPORT SYSTEM AND RESOURCES
Who is in my support
network?
What on campus supports
might I use?
Do I have enough financial
support?
Do I have enough
academic support?
SCHOOL
How do I like to learn?
My Favourite & Least
Favourite Classes
Subjects I Want To Try
How do I feel about
school? My GPA?
ME, MY INTERESTS, MY FEELINGS
My Interests
(activities and topics most engaging for me)
My Personal Qualities
(individual differences, how I think, feel, behave))
My Values
(ex: creativity, salary, independence)
My Gifts and Talents
What difference do I want to make?
What problems do I want to solve?
Do I feel confident or hopeful about
my career?
LET’S GET CREATIVE
Write a metaphor to describe how you feel about your
career.
Draw a picture or diagram to represent your career
reflections: use a separate piece of paper.
Use magazines and pictures to make a vision board of
what you want for your future.
YOUR EDUCATION AND SUBJECT PREFERENCES
WHAT WERE YOUR FAVOURITE COURSES THROUGHOUT SCHOOL?
WHY DID YOU LIKE IT? CONSIDER THE TEACHER, YOUR GRADE, AND
PROJECTS YOU LOVED.
WHICH COURSES DID YOU REALLY NOT ENJOY?
EXPLAIN ANY CHALLENGES YOU DEAL WITH THAT MADE SOME OR
MOST COURSES DIFFICULT.
MY TOP COURSES ARE:
BASED ON MY ACADEMIC INTERESTS, I’D LIKE TO EXPLORE THE FOLLOWING
OCCUPATIONS:
MY GOAL(S):
YOUR INTERESTS
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHEN YOU LOSE TRACK OF TIME?
ARE THERE ACTIVITIES THAT YOU CAN’T IMAGINE NOT DOING?
P a g e | 21
HAVE YOUR COURSE SELECTIONS CORRESPONDED WITH YOUR
INTERESTS? EXPLAIN.
WHAT OCCUPATIONS MAY MATCH YOUR INTERESTS? BE CREATIVE!
YOU CAN FILTER THIS LATER.
MY HOLLAND CODE IS:
BASED ON MY INTERESTS, I’D LIKE TO EXPLORE THE FOLLOWING OCCUPATIONS:
MY GOAL(S):
YOUR PERSONALITY
MY PERSONALITY TYPE IS:
BASED ON MY PERSONALITY, I’D LIKE TO EXPLORE THE FOLLOWING OCCUPATIONS:
MY GOAL(S):
VALUES
MY TOP VALUES ARE:
BASED ON MY VALUES, I’D LIKE TO EXPLORE THE FOLLOWING OCCUPATIONS:
MY GOAL(S):
WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED SO FAR: YOUR IDEAS
By going through the exercises in this book, you have explored your subject preferences, interests, personality, and
values and have begun to generate ideas of occupations that might be worth investigating further. You’ve also started to
think about your goals. Let’s compile what you’ve learned so far here:
Subject preferences, interests, personality
traits, values, other important information
Occupational Ideas to Explore
Are there options that have appeared more
than once? Can you find a common thread that
connects your ideas?
My Goals
Sometimes it can be hard to move because of school, money, family pressure, health, or
another challenge. Come talk to us at 474 UC or use another on campus support.
P a g e | 23
Appendix B: Visualization
Sometimes, visualizing your future can help you to get a full sense of what it is you want from your career. Make sure
you have done plenty of research so your visualization is as accurate as possible.
Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can go through the exercise without interruption. You might read through
the exercise first then imagine it or record yourself reading the visualization so that you can shut your eyes and listen to
each step (LINK TO OUR RECORDING?). Some students find meditation music useful as they relax: YouTube has an
excellent selection.
The Visualization:
Begin by finding a comfortable position. Shut your eyes and take a few calming breaths in and out. Picture yourself on a
path. Imagine the scenery: what do you see? Listen - what do you hear? Is their water nearby? Perhaps you hear the
rustling of leaves. Take a deep breath - what do you smell? Feel the path beneath your feet as you continue down the
path, taking in the beautiful scenery around you. Further ahead you see that your path is forked, splitting in more than
one direction.
Take the first path. It leads to your first option. You are walking towards your workplace. Where are you working?
Imagine the location. Who are you working with? Imagine how you might interact with your colleagues. You are going to
begin your day what does that feel like? Go over your day in your head. Imagine who you will speak to, what you will
do. Imagine yourself doing multiple tasks. What problems do you have to solve today? Focus on the way this feels for
you at each point. Take a few moments to fully imagine your experience of your day.
It is the end of the day and you are heading back to the path again, walking back towards the fork in the road. As you
walk, consider how this career fits into the rest of your life. Consider how you feel coming home after a day in this
career. How does this career fit into the wider context of how your life will be? If this is important for your decision
making, reflect on how your relationships and other values fit with this career.
As you return to the fork, take the second path, leading you towards your second option. You are now starting your day
in that occupation, heading towards your workplace. What does it feel like to be in that occupation? What are you
wearing? Who do you say hello to as you start your day? Consider how this feels. Think about what is on your plate
today, what you need to accomplish. Begin your work, taking yourself through the tasks you would face. What is your
main goal today? Focus on how this feels in your body and in your mind. Take a moment and continue through your day,
imagining the experience in as much detail as possible.
As your work day comes to an end, head back to the path. With each step, reflect on how it feels to finish this day in this
occupation. What is your life like? Imagine the important pieces of your decision, whether it is your family, friends, or
the experiences you value outside of work.
Look at the fork in the road: are there more options for you to explore? If you need to, take a third path. What does this
next job look like? Take your time moving through this new day. How does this feel? What does the location look like?
Fully experience your day, imagining each specific piece: each task, each problem, each person. What tools do you use?
What impact do you have? Take some time to imagine this career path in detail, concentrating on your reactions and
feelings.
Your day is finishing up and you begin to head back to the path, reflecting on how this feels. What is it like to come
home from this option? What is your life like?
You are back at the path. At this time, if you see further options, take the time to explore them in turn. When you are
ready, take a few deep, calming breaths. Allow the path to slip away. Open your eyes.
Write your answers:
What was it like to experience this exercise?
What did you notice? Write a response for each option you explored.
How does each career fit into the future you picture for yourself: consider your significant others & goals.
What did you learn about yourself?
What did each option feel like?
How do you see yourself after this exercise?
What surprised you?
Did you have any difficulty with the visualization? What might you do to make this easier?
Is there a goal or goals you would like to set after this exercise?
If you would like to reflect further on your visualization, a Career Consultant can help. Come talk to us
.
P a g e | 25
Appendix C: Comparison Chart
Compile the information you have gathered about
yourself and evaluate occupations. Score each
occupation from 1-10, with higher scores being most
related to that point. Total each occupation’s scores.
Higher scores meet more of the areas you identified
as important. If you’re having trouble scoring, you
might need to do more research on the occupations.
OCCUPATIONS OF INTEREST
ALL ABOUT YOU
Occupation 1
Occupation 2
Occupation 3
Occupation 4
Subjects Preferences: List the subjects & classes you prefer. Rate how related they are to each career, 1-10.
Subject 1
Subject 2
Subject 3
Interests: List your 3 letter Holland Code & any other interest. Rate how related they are to each career, 1-10.
Holland Code, 1
st
letter
Holland Code, 2
nd
letter
Holland Code, 3
rd
letter
Other Interest 1
Other Interest 2
Personality: List your personality type & any other information . Rate how related they are to each career, 1-10.
Extraverted / Introverted
Sensing / Intuition
Thinking / Feeling
Judging / Perceiving
Other Personality Trait:
Values: List the your top 5 values. Rate how related they are to each career, 1-10.
Value 1
Value 2
Value 3
Value 4
`
Value 5
Other Career Information: List the subjects & classes you prefer. Rate how related they are to each career, 1-10.
TOTALS
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