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Consider What Matters to You

Interests

Differentiate between your personal interests and your work interests. By identifying your patterns of occupational interests, you are better able to determine a satisfying major or career direction. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What generates excitement or enthusiasm for you?
  • What different interests do you want to pursue over your lifetime?
  • What interests do you want as part of your work (i.e. 40+ hours)? Are they different from the interests that you include in your spare time? What interests overlap between your professional and personal life?
  • What do you miss if you are not incorporating it into daily work? What do you need to have in your daily activities to feel satisfied?

Knowing your interests is the first step. Knowing how to connect your interests to your major and career options comes next, and can be informed by the tools described below or meeting with a career counselor.


Personality

Understand how your unique personality strengths can be utilized in different majors, career fields, and work environments. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What personality traits might have an impact on your work environment?  
  • How do you interact with others?
  • How do you make decisions?
  • How do you process your surrounding environment?
  • What environments are the best fit for your personality?
  • What types of careers or work settings best take advantage of your personal approach?

Knowing your personality is the first step. Knowing how to connect your personality to your major and career options comes next, and can be informed by the tools described below or meeting with a career counselor.


Skills

In order to properly examine your skills, identify your strengths, the skills that you want to use as a part of your work, the level of skills you need in your major or career of interest, and the amount of further development necessary to acquire these skills. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are you good at doing?
  • What are your strengths?  
  • What skills do you have that you can use for a career?  
  • Does your career of interest require skills that you need to further develop?

Knowing your skills is the first step. Knowing how to connect your skills to your major and career options comes next, and can be informed by the tools described below or meeting with a career counselor.


Work Values

Work values help you identify your needs and wants in relation to different majors, careers, and work settings. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you need in your work environment in order to be successful and productive?  
  • Can you rank order your most important work values? What are you willing to negotiate in order to get what’s most important to you?
  • Personal values and work values are different. Do you know the role each plays for your decisions?

Knowing your work values is the first step. Knowing how to connect your work values to your major and career options comes next, and can be informed by the tools described below or meeting with a career counselor.


Other Questions to Ask

As you’re thinking about a potential major or career, here are some factors to consider.

Admission to the Major

  • What are the admission and progression requirements for majors, graduate schools, or professional school programs you are considering?
  • Do you have a competitive application for the program you want to pursue?

Time

  • Do you have any time constraints you are trying to work within?  
  • Are there any deadlines that are dictating when certain decisions need to be made?
  • Does your timeline allow for any flexibility?

Family

  • What role does your family play in your decision about majors or careers?
  • What expectations does your family have of you, and how might that impact your decisions about majors or careers?

Level of Education Required

  • Are you willing or able to continue your education, if needed, for jobs in your chosen career field?

Self-Guided Tools

You can also explore what matters to you using these resources:

These tools are hosted on other websites. However, you are still encouraged to meet with us for further clarification.