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Career Exploration

No matter what methods are used as part of the career exploration process, its important to gather certain information:

  • What types of work are available in the fields that interest the job seeker?
  • What skills do these jobs require?
  • In what types of work cultures and environments is the individual comfortable?
  • What types of jobs meet the specific requirements of the job seeker?

Placement Planning and Career Exploration: Areas to Look At
When determining the types of employment opportunities to pursue, the focus is often on the individuals job skills and where these can be applied. Yet many people (with and without disabilities) succeed or fail on a job based on how well they fit into the social environment of the workplace. When developing successful employment opportunities, consider: where would an individuals personality be considered a real asset? (For instance, a friendly, outgoing personality is an important attribute for a customer service job.) A list of possible criteria to examine as part of the career exploration process are listed below under Placement Planning and Career Exploration: Areas to Look At

As the career exploration process progresses, the job developer and job seeker should be looking for common themes among areas of interest. For example, an individual may have explored several different fields. While the person may have had interest in a variety of jobs, the ones where he/she is most intrigued may be jobs where there is a great deal of interaction with others, where there is a low level of supervision, which have an informal work atmosphere, which have a variety of tasks, or which focus on a specific area.

The following lists some areas for consideration when undertaking career exploration and planning. This information can be used as part of a job search profile, and also in evaluating a career exploration experience. Use these criteria to examine two perspectives:

  1. the requirements of a field or specific job
  2. the degree of importance that a job seeker places on each requirement
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