First formal meetings are often done in print – even in the digital age. With the speed at which the world is operating – being concise and direct is a desired style in writing. In one page a reader needs to learn who the writer is and what strengths/insights the writer may bring to the reader or to the organization. After a semester of examining the past, present and planning for the future each student will be asked to write a letter – addressed to an audience of importance to each student or just to the unknown “To whom it may concern”. The letter should put the student’s best foot forward – explaining what qualities and aspirations are unique and should be noted by the readers.
What Do You Plan To Do With Your Life?
Decisions, decisions, decisions! Choosing a career path or course of action essentially boils down to a decision-making process. The effectiveness of your career decision-making relies heavily on the information available to you at the decision-making point. So use the research you have done throughout the course to help you present your current thinking in letter form.
Step One: Think of what you share about your future plans. Some decisions you might be facing that you could share in your letter include:
- What you want to do after graduation
- What you choose to pursue and why that pursuit
- What you might be considering as a second option
- If you will continue in school
- If you will get a job and if so, what kind of job
- If you will travel
- If you will move out on your own or budget by living at home with Mom and/or Dad
Step Two: Show you Know Yourself (Self-Assessment)
Identify what about college, jobs or careers you believe will prove satisfying, based on a true understanding of you–your skills, interests, values, and personality characteristics. Questions you may want to answer about yourself are:
- What you are best at
- What your strengths and weaknesses are
- What your most prominent skills and abilities are
- What skills you want to use on the job
- What skills you may still need to acquire
- What you areinterested in doing
- What activities have you enjoyed the most
- What kinds of people you would like to work with
- What kind of job settings you would enjoy
- What will help you be satisfied in your career
- What you think will challenge and reward you within your work
- The type of work environments that will make you happy
- The personal qualities you possess that will help you on the job
- How your personal style will influence your career choice
Step Three: Identify the Options (Career Exploration)
You will need to identify your options. Questions you might ask yourself at this point are:
- At this point in time, “What are my options?”
- Do I have a strong interest in other types of jobs or careers?
- What other types of jobs or careers should I be considering?
Step Four: Gather Information and Data
If you have completed the first three steps you should have a list of careers and jobs which your plan to explore and research in more depth. You will now:
- Examine the information and resources you already have
- Identify what additional information and resources you will need.
- Seek out and utilize new information
Step Five: Evaluate Options that will Solve the Problem
Since you have completed your career research, you are now ready to evaluate each of the options you have identified:
- Identify the pros and cons of each alternative.
- Identify the values and needs that are satisfied by each.
- Identify the risks involved with each alternative.
- Project the probable future consequences of selecting each.
Step Six: Select One of the Options
Based on the information you have gathered and analyzed, you should identify the options that seem best to you now.
Step Seven: What Course of Action will you take to Implement the Decision
Having chosen options, share segements of your plan of action. Ask yourself what would be best to share:
- What are the obstacles to implementing my decision and how can I overcome them?
- Identify steps to implement the decision.
- Identify when to begin and end each step.
- Identify the information or resources needed to complete each step.