Your career is an evolving, dynamic, multifaceted experience—not a static fixture in your life.
The career development process is a lifelong journey that involves setting and refining goals over time. The earlier you begin to focus on your career development, the better prepared you will be to decide which path you will choose and to pursue the opportunities available to you. Fort Lewis College Career Services offers extensive resources to help you explore career options and develop strategies for pursuing your goals. These include career education programs, individual career advising services, and comprehensive resources designed to help you assess your skills, interests, values, competencies and experiences. We also help you understand the role that society, as well as your culture and family, can play in influencing your major and career decisions.
Basic Elements of Your Career Development Journey:
Reflect & DiscoverGet to know yourself: What do you enjoy? What are your strengths? Begin to identify your values, interests, skills, and personality preferences. Gaining awareness of these core “satisfiers” will help you link to potential career fields. Action Steps at This Stage:
- Create/revise your resume and have one of our career advisors review it.
- Review the list of organizations and clubs and join any clubs that will help you develop your competencies and skills.
- Discuss self-assessment options with a career advisor.
- Begin to identify majors that fit your interests and abilities.
Explore CareersResearch career possibilities, learn the connections between courses, concentrations, and careers. Discover the benefits of experiential learning (shadowing, internships and informational interviews. Action Steps at This Stage:
- Gather information on different fields, industries and companies.
- Take advantage of FLC Career Service’s many educational workshops and programs.
- Decide on a major and learn what career paths a major can offer.
- Conduct career conversations (a.k.a. informational interviews) with people in fields that interest you.
- Explore opportunities to gain relevant work experience, such as internships, summer jobs or volunteer work.
Build Skills & Gain ExperiencePolish your resume and cover letter writing skills. Refine your career goals and strategy. Test your potential career paths through informational interviewing, internships, and relevant part-time and summer jobs and determine a potential career direction. Action Steps at This Stage:
- Revise and finalize an effective resume. If needed, get help writing an effective cover letter.
- Practice and refine your interview skills or set up a mock interview.
- Research graduate schools, visit campuses, take required standardized tests.
- Learn to present your goals and skills for effective networking.
- Secure an internship, job or fellowship, or set up several shadowing experiences.
- Attend events such as career fairs, company info sessions and alumni panels.
Take ActionMake an informed and meaningful career decision. Remember that the decisions you make today will not define your entire career. Instead, focus on the experiences you would like to gain over the next couple of years. As You Prepare for Life After Fort Lewis College:
- Meet with a career advisor to help with your decision-making or revised career plan.
- Update your profile on Handshake.
- Get help writing your personal statement as you apply to graduate and professional schools.
- Research and join relevant professional associations in your desired career field.
- Analyze offers from companies and graduate schools and weigh your options.
- Join the Fort Lewis College Career Network or other Fort Lewis College affiliated groups on LinkedIn.
- Learn and practice the basics of negotiating.
- Reflect and discover (again – remember this is a lifelong process) as you experience an internship, new job, or graduate program.
Each of these areas involves action steps that we can help you complete before you move on to your next career development phase. These steps can be completed as suggested below to assist you in your journey through Fort Lewis College.