Navigating Your Future
Are you thinking about your future but not sure how to get started? Start with you!
Assessing yourself and what you want in your next step before you take it is a key part of good planning, whether you're launching a job or internship search, thinking of taking time off, or considering further study.
Skills are competencies developed through everything you do: jobs and internships, activities, courses, and pastimes. A Smith degree builds a variety of highly marketable skills, some specific to a major and others gained across the curriculum.
Interests are issues, activities, or fields of knowledge important to you. Your interests may be part of your work or remain as pastimes. Connecting with people who share your interests is an important part of researching careers, opportunities, and options for further study.
- Values are qualities you consider important about your work and life. For example, some people enjoy working as part of a team, while others prefer to work independently. Your values influence how appealing you find different work settings and can contribute to your definition of success.
- Personality determines how you behave in interactions at school, at work, and in your personal life. Knowing more about your personality can help you identify careers and fields of study that might be a good fit.
Tools for Your Self-Assessment
Our brief Self-Assessment Road Map can help you start identifying your skills, interests, and values. Feel free to bring your completed Road Map to a one-hour appointment with a Lazarus Center career advisor.
SkillScan is a card sort exercise a career advisor can guide you through. It divides skills into different clusters and highlights careers in which those skills are often used.
The Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI) questionnaire suggests work environments, careers, and academic fields you might enjoy based on your personality type. It examines your personality preferences across four areas:
- What energizes you?
- How do you take in information?
- How do you make decisions?
- How do you organize yourself?
The MBTI is not a test and cannot tell you the "best" major or career path for you.
To discuss if taking the MBTI is appropriate for you, please set up a 30-minute appointment with a career advisor by calling 413-585-2582.
Daily journaling can help you understand when - and why - you feel at your best and most accomplished and identify potential opportunities for growth. At the end of each day:
- Write down three things you did that you felt good about that day. What skills or attributes contributed to each of these accomplishments?
- Consider and record what challenged you that day.
- As you observed others’ interactions, what did you admire or notice?
- After a week, reflect on your findings. What patterns do you see?
Once you have more information about yourself, we suggest researching different career fields, reading a variety of job and internship descriptions, and talking with people whose careers interest you during informational interviews. The more information you have, the easier it will be to determine your next step.
Need more? Make an appointment with a Lazarus Center career advisor by calling 413-585-2582.