Career exploration is an opportunity for you to examine your options and make decisions about where you want to go with your career. Here is a Microsoft Word or fill-in-able PDF of the career exploration guide to assist you in collecting the data.
Sample Career Exploration Questions
- What does a typical day look like?
- Do I have the skills, experience, and education required to do this job?
- How much money can I make in this job?
- What does the job market look like for this job? Will I be able to find a job?
- Will I like doing this job?
Career Exploration Websites
The websites below are excellent tools to help you learn more about different career areas.
Knowing the current market rate for a position will assist you in knowing if you can afford to work in the field and will prepare you for the interview and negotiating process where you will be asked questions about your salary requirements. The following websites can assist you in gathering salary data.
- Pay Scale.com
- California EDD Labor Market Information
- If you are not sure about your current income requirements, here is a simple budget sheet
Career Exploration Tool: Skills Matrix
The Skills Matrix will help you to assess the demands of the local labor market. By using recent and relevant job advertisements, you can identify the current trends in hiring, including skills, education, and experience. Are you a match for these jobs? If not, what will it take for you to be marketable? Is it realistic to think that you can compete for these jobs?
Steps to complete a Skills Matrix:
- Click here to download a fill-in version of the Skills Matrix.
- Collect ten detailed job postings for the same or similar job title/function.
- Highlight all skills mentioned in postings.
- List required skills in the first column of the skills matrix.
- Go through each job description and mark each time a skill is requested.
- Identify the skills you have and the ones you need to learn.
View this short video for step-by-step instructions on how to complete the Skills Matrix.
A great way to learn about a job, company, or industry is to talk to people and learn from their experiences. Informational meetings are a way to gather advice, information and referrals. You meet with a new or current contact for a brief period of time, usually about 15 to 20 minutes, and ask them questions about their profession, company and industry. You ask the questions with the intent to learn. It is not a job interview.
- What are your current job responsibilities / tasks?
- What skills, certifications, and education are required for this job today?
- With my background, what challenges will I face in finding a job in this field?
- What do you recommend I do to help me get a job in this field?
Click here to learn more about informational meetings.
If your career research leads you to believe that you need to upgrade your skills to become more marketable and competitive, take a look at these resources
- California Eligible Training Provider List
- Click on more career services
- Under Education Services click on one of the following
- To search by school name: Training Providers and Schools
- To search by keyword, e.g. accounting: Training and Education Programs
- Here is a list of low or no cost training options .
- Here is information on how to contact California EDD to express an interest in training .
If you are a current NOVAworks customer and think that you need training to become more marketable, please schedule an appointment with a NOVA training advisor.