Stages of Career Development

How Can Career Counseling Help?

Below are possible indicators associated with each stage in the career development process. If you find that any of these indicators describe you, please call the Career Center to attend a workshop or schedule an appointment, or visit the Career Center any weekday between 8am and 5pm.

Stage I: Exploration

  • Have no declared major or unhappy in your current major
  • Are having difficulty making choices related to career planning
  • Are uncertain about interests, abilities, and values related to careers
  • Are finding that course selections have been based primarily on the opinions of family members and friends.
  • Call the Career Center to attend a workshop or schedule an appointment, or visit the Career Center any weekday between 8 am and 5 pm.

Stage II: Tentative Choice

  • Have declared a major
  • Have narrowed choice of major to several related areas
  • Can specify choice of a particular career cluster (e.g., Health Services)
  • Are in the process of seeking more in-depth information about self or work to validate specific preferences
  • Call the Career Center to attend a workshop or schedule an appointment, or visit the Career Center any weekday between 8am and 5pm

Stage III: Realistic Appraisal and Active Involvement

  • Have pursued further involvement with career choice (e.g., internships, volunteer, or leadership opportunities, professional organizations). Visit the Career Center for information about internships and other opportunities.
  • Have developed some primary associations with other students and faculty members in the chosen field of study.
  • Recognize the importance of accurately assessing values, interests and abilities related to your chosen field.

Stage IV: Implementation

  • Have met or are meeting degree requirements.
  • Can articulate a career plan consistent with chosen academic programs.
  • Plan to work after graduation and are developing job search strategies and, utilizing the Career Center as part of this process.
  • Plan to attend graduate school or professional school and are seeking admission.

Career identity development and career exploration are part of an ongoing process. Career Counselors can help students determine how their values, interests, skills, passions, and sense of responsibility to the rest of the world are connected to career decision making and planning. If you have questions about your major or want to explore career options, we encourage you to schedule a confidential appointment with a career counselor.