As you think about your future, the resources on this page can be of assistance in outlining an academic and career plan. It is never easy to know exactly what you want to do or who you want to be in the future, but setting some time aside to give it some thought can be useful in creating a brighter tomorrow.
Self-assessment is an important part of developing a better idea of how you want to create and design your academic and professional future. You may not fully understand how your perspective of the world around you can inform what you want to study in college and how that may be useful in picking a future career. Self-assessment tests can assist in making your choices and decisions a little easier.
Assessment tools predominantly clarify an understanding of an individual’s:
- Personality – character or psychological make-up.
- Interests – preference for a variety of activities or things.
- Values – attitude that governs behavior and understanding of the world.
- Skills – ability and capacity to perform a task.
FOCUS 2 Career and Education Planning System
The College Fund offers the Focus 2 Career and Education Planning System to you to assist in developing your future.
FOCUS 2 combines self-assessment, career and major exploration, decision making and action planning in one place. Your assessment results are matched to career options and majors/programs for your planning consideration. FOCUS 2 guides you through a career and education decision-making model to help you make informed career decisions and take action in developing your future.
Create an account and take each – personality, interests, values, and skills – test to build an academic and career planning profile. To use this free service, register to create an account here with the access code collegefund. From there, you can take each test- personality, interests, values, and skills- to build an academic and career planning profile. You are able to print your profile to be shared with an academic or career counselor. Share this information with career coaches or mentors for more productive conversations. The information you gather through this assessment can assist in developing your initial career plan or a transition from one profession to another.
Work is an inherent part of life and if you take the time to think more intentionally about it, you may end up enjoying it. As you may know, a career is a more substantial way of thinking about your employment path. That is not to say your early jobs working at a fast food restaurant or a convenient store will not play out into your future plans, but if you make conscious choices about next steps you may be more aware of what you are learning while at them.
Career planning is the continuous process of:
- thinking about your interests, values, skills and preferences.
- exploring the life, work and learning options available to you.
- ensuring that your work fits with your personal circumstances.
- continuously fine-tuning your work and learning plans to help you manage the changes in your life and the world of work.
One key practice in planning your future is talking with colleagues, friends, and family.
In creating a plan, you want to have a more critical dialog about your story. As you share your story, listen to your audience to assist in determining next steps; whether they be to move forward in a given direction, pause on an action, or speak to another person about a decision. Each time you receive feedback to assist in creating choices for action, be aware and reflective of your response to what the audience is sharing. Understanding your responses assists you in learning more about yourself in the moment, emotionally, spiritually, and professionally, which can inform your next steps. If you are hear something and it makes your afraid, then you may need to work on your fear about what was shared before moving forward.
Mentoring and Peer-Mentoring
Mentors are great resource in providing insight and support in working out a plan while sharing their own experiences. You may find someone well-established in a given field whom you hope to follow or you may find support in a colleague who is working through or recently went through the same process in making decisions about a career plan. Both mentors are useful and act as different forms of support as you create your future.