4 Year Path to Career Success

Career readiness requires knowing your skills and abilities, having ideas about how those apply in certain fields, building professional connections, and conducting a comprehensive job or graduate school search. 

The worksheets below will walk you through a guided exercise of self-reflection and goal setting so that you can achieve career readiness before you leave UVM.

When you submit a finished worksheet, you'll get an emailed copy that you can use in meetings with your advisor or career counselors. You may want to add reminders in Navigate to help you stay on track.

Your answers will be saved so you can come back, review what you've already done, make updates, or start a new worksheet anytime.

Your Information


Choose the starting point that feels right for you.

If you're just starting at UVM, or looking to explore your interests and find activities that will help you discover a wide range of possible paths, you probably want to begin with Worksheet 1: Explore. If you're further along in your journey, you might be ready for Worksheet 2: Experience, Worksheet 3: Focus, or Worksheet 4: Achieve.

Don't worry, you don't have to do things in exactly the order presented here to get the most of your college experience and be ready for what's next - in fact many people will do lots of these steps throughout without even knowing. And you can always come back to the plan and adjust it based on what you've done and learned about yourself along the way.

EXPLORE

Exploration is an essential element for making the most of your college years and preparing for a career. Use this first step on your journey to discover more about yourself, UVM, and the wide range of opportunities available to you.

Step 1: Reflect

What interests could you pursue at UVM? What skills or knowledge would you like to develop? Think about a memorable accomplishment -- what skills did you gain or strengthen?
What topics hold your interests? What organizations and people inspire you? What about what they do is inspiring?
What classes are you most looking forward to? What clubs appeal to you? What topics/issues would you like to explore outside of the classroom?
Employers want to hire college students and recent graduates with the skills to be successful and contribute to their organizations. The National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) has surveyed thousands of employers across industries to identify the key transferable skills needed to be career-ready. Reflecting on your current level of proficiency in these areas will help you think ahead about how to further develop those skills in the year ahead.
beginningprogressingproficientexpert
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
Oral/Written Communications
Teamwork/Collaboration
Digital Technology
Leadership
Professionalism/Work Ethic
Career Management
Global/Intercultural Fluency

Step 2: Take Action

already donethinking about doingwill donot sure or not applicable
Select your career interest group(s)
Attend at least one career interest group activity
Connect with affinity/identity-based communities
Join a club or organization
Volunteer or get a part-time or summer job, on or off campus
Drop by the Advising Center, Career Center or faculty member's open office hours
View Candid Career videos to explore different industries and job types
Log into Handshake and complete the 3 min career interest survey

EXPERIENCE

By gaining experience, you learn more about yourself and opportunities around you. Getting engaged in a range of activities will help you build diverse skills that transfer into career settings. You also become more aware of your values, abilities and interests. The experiences that bring you the most satisfaction could become the basis of your work. Spend some time considering what you’ve learned, and how you could build your career readiness.

Step 1: Reflect

What projects or assignments are you most proud of; what skills did you use to get this done? What’s so fun for you to do, study, or discuss that you tend to lose track of time?
These can be broad (e.g., arts) or focused (children’s book illustrator)
Employers want to hire college students and recent graduates with the skills to be successful and contribute to their organizations. The National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) has surveyed thousands of employers across industries to identify the key transferable skills needed to be career-ready. Reflecting on your current level of proficiency in these areas will help you think ahead about how to further develop those skills in the year ahead.
beginningprogressingproficientexpert
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
Oral/Written Communications
Teamwork/Collaboration
Digital Technology
Leadership
Professionalism/Work Ethic
Career Management
Global/Intercultural Fluency
Consider friends, family, Career Interest Group contacts, faculty, supervisors, advisors. You may not already know them; consider who you want to know too.

Step 2: Take Action

already donethinking about doingwill donot sure or not applicable
Join a club, organization, or team
Take a civic learning or service-learning course
Research internships and part-time employment on Handshake
Start planning to study abroad or apply for a research opportunity
Commit to a major
Consider adding classes in your interest area
Attend career Interest Group events
Connect with alums through UVM Connect and Handshake
Find useful career tips in the Career Center's Blackboard organization
Build at least one campus connection with someone who cares about your success
Review Career Competencies and pick two to deepen

FOCUS

You have explored and gotten some experience. Now’s the time to focus on what you want, and what and who can help you.

Step 1: Reflect

Employers want to hire college students and recent graduates with the skills to be successful and contribute to their organizations. The National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) has surveyed thousands of employers across industries to identify the key transferable skills needed to be career-ready. Reflecting on your current level of proficiency in these areas will help you think ahead about how to further develop those skills in the year ahead.
beginningprogressingproficientexpert
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
Oral/Written Communications
Teamwork/Collaboration
Digital Technology
Leadership
Professionalism/Work Ethic
Career Management
Global/Intercultural Fluency
What do you know about the qualifications you need? Who can help?
Who do you know or could you meet who works in this or a related field? Is graduate education required?

Step 2: Take Action

already donethinking about doingwill donot sure or not applicable
Distinguish yourself through leadership roles or going the extra mile
Take a civic learning or service-learning course
Broaden your experiences using resources like GoinGlobal or study abroad
Update your resume or online profiles (e.g. LinkedIn, Handshake)
Use Career Interest Groups, UVM Connect, or Handshake to connect to and learn from professionals in your field
Name jobs/industries that appeal to you and seek information
Intern, work, or volunteer in a field of interest (fellowships count)
Hone your plan with advisors and engage with your Career Interest Group to help you focus
Identify 2-3 faculty, advisors, or supervisors you know well and could ask for a recommendation
Check out the graduate & professional school resources on the Career Center website if interested

ACHIEVE

You've successfully explored your interests and options, gained valuable experience, and focused your search and goals.  Way to go! You're well on your way to achieving career readiness. Take these next steps to launch into career success.

Step 1: Reflect

Employers want to hire college students and recent graduates with the skills to be successful and contribute to their organizations. The National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) has surveyed thousands of employers across industries to identify the key transferable skills needed to be career-ready. Reflecting on your current level of proficiency in these areas will help you think ahead about how to further develop those skills in the year ahead.
beginningprogressingproficientexpert
Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
Oral/Written Communications
Teamwork/Collaboration
Digital Technology
Leadership
Professionalism/Work Ethic
Career Management
Global/Intercultural Fluency
Where can you deepen your knowledge, skills, and career-related relationships?
Consider previous decisions, good and bad, and the processes you used to make them. What does that tell you about what works best for you?

Step 2: Take Action

already donethinking about doingwill donot sure or not applicable
Engage with your Career Interest Group for help clarifying or setting goals and to connect with alums and/or employers
Create and save searches in Handshake and other job boards
Name 3 employers or graduate programs that interest you
Study - keep those grades up
Get leadership experience, either in official roles, or by making contributions to groups or causes
Join a professional association or attend an industry event
Take, or plan for when to take, required graduate school qualifying exam(s)
Apply to jobs or graduate programs
Attend UVM Job & Internship or Career Fairs
Draft a personal budget to clarify financial responsibilities/needs and wants
Consider cities or regions of interest to help focus your searches

Good work!

Your completed worksheet will be emailed to you. Refer to it for inspiration, when meeting with advisors, career counselors, family, peers, and when making decisions along your career journey. Come back when you are ready for the next worksheet.

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