Exploring New Career Paths

It’s that time of the summer when many students are finishing up their summer experiences and thinking about next steps moving forward. Some of you will have had a great summer and confirmed that a particular career field is an excellent fit for you. Others will perhaps have gained valuable experience, but have come to the realization that looking at other career options in the future would make sense. Perhaps you discovered that you didn’t love the particular industry you interned in or maybe the industry was great but the job function was not the best fit. Either outcome is actually very helpful. Even if you have decided that you want to explore other fields moving forward, that is valuable information to have! For most people, career exploration is a very iterative process and what you like / dislike and the rewards you seek through your work will change throughout your life. This is only the beginning! As we approach the start  of the fall semester, consider taking some time now to be proactive about exploring careers, particularly if you have decided that a change in course might be helpful.

Here are three easy and free things you can do to learn more:

Read about it! Current Penn students can access the Vault Career Guides by logging in through the Online Subscriptions link on the Career Services web page. Vault provides a wealth of information on a wide variety of industries and employers, as well as helpful information on job search topics including interviewing or networking.

Talk to People! Take advantage of the Penn network by arranging informational interviews with Penn alumni working in fields that intrigue you. The QuakerNet directory is a great place to research alumni, as is the “Find Alumni” tool under “My Network” in LinkedIn. If you are not quite sure how to request and conduct an informational interview, check out some tips on the Career Services networking page.

Explore Yourself with SIGI 3:  This is a comprehensive career exploration tool that prompts you to analyze your skills, interests, and values and matches the resulting profile to career options. You can access Sigi 3 by logging in with your PennKey and PennKey password via the online subscriptions link on the Career Services website.

Happy exploring!

Author: Barbara Hewitt

Barbara Hewitt is the Executive Director of Career Services.