Making Better Career Decisions
Start Smart by Getting to Know You
Making the best career decisions are based on gathering enough of the right information and it starts with self-assessment, or learning more about you. For example, being award of your individual interests and unique personality will help you discover whether you prefer to work with people, data, ideas or things, or some combination of them. Just knowing this will lead to very different career options.
Being Aware of Career Planning Resources
At UVU, we have a number of self-assessment, career assessment and exploration tools available to assist you. Each will help you become more informed about how your personality, interests, values, skills and experiences impact major and career choices. You can learn a lot about yourself through many of these resources, but make sure you include your major advisor/career counselor during the process. This is extremely important. Find your advisor now.
Tools for Matching Interest and Personality to Majors and Careers
Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI)
This MBTI is our most popular personality assessment, and the most reliable over time. This assessment is a questionnaire and designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. Simply put, the MBTI measures random variations in behavior which are actually quite orderly and consistent. These behavior variations occur due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.
Once completed, you will have identified your personality type, most popular job families and occupations, along with 25 related occupations for your type. You will also be provided with a description of your values, strengths and weaknesses as they relate to occupations and interpersonal relationships.
Strong Interest Inventory (SII)
This interest inventory (tool) is our most popular. This assessment measures your answers to how similar or dissimilar you are to individuals in each of six General Occupational Theme areas: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. It is a snapshop in time and provides you with a powerful method for matching your interests with opportunities for jobs, education, and leisure activities.
Seeing the Bigger Picture
Although career development tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, the Strong Interest Inventory, and other career exploration resources assist you in making more informed career decisions, they are just the tip of the Career Planning iceberg.
You may not have a strong desire to learn more about Career Planning right now, but a healthy awareness of the process will be invaluable to your future. Self-assessment activities give you an excellent start and a solid foundation towards building your long term career success.
The Five Phases of Career Development
This step of the process is often overlooked and yet, it forms the foundation for the rest of the process. "Know Thyself" is the main objective here. Gathering information about yourself - personality, interest, values, talents, skills, and experiences, along with your ambitions - helps complete the picture you have about you.
2. Career Exploration
Along with knowledge of self, being aware of the many opportunities for employment give you a huge advantage in making the right career choice. Do you know how much education you need, to earn the income, to live the life you want?
There are web-based programs that can quickly generate this information for you. Career planning is not a one time effort. It is a continuous process that gets refined the more you know about career, employment, the market place and your education goals. The objective is to expand your knowledge of available career opportunities. Take time to talk with your academic advisor about this important step.
3. Focus and Goal Setting
As important as it is to become aware of the possibilities for careers is the need to narrow down choices that best fit you. Here is where your ideal occupation meets the realization of what can be achieved given personal realities. Factors to consider here are: age, readiness for college, finances, marital status, physical and emotional limitations, time, family status, culture, learning styles and more.
4. Job Search
Here is where opportunity meets your education, skills and experience. Get ready for graduation in advance and being ready to land that first real job. UVU's Career Development Center (CDC) is the place to begin this all important activity. You will want to put as much effort into your job search preparation as you did to select your major, if not more.
5. Career Management
What's important here is understanding that your first job and subsequent jobs are temporary. No one will manage your career for you. You're in charge. The average job tenure is about 3.5 years. Where do you see yourself in three, five or even ten years? The smart individual has a plan for their future.
Career and Academic Advising Professionals
Remember, you're on educational journey with many twists, turns and decision points. Take your time. Make sure to consult with your career and academic advisors along the way. Your time will be well spent and you can count on navigating the future with more confidence, clarity, realistic goals and expectations. Find your advisor now!