REFLECTCareer development theories, such as the Cognitive Information Processing theory developed by Florida State University, emphasize the importance of beginning the career pathway planning process with self-assessment. While working with a career development professional is the best way to obtain tested, valid results, there are a growing number of helpful tools online measuring values, interests, personality, and aptitudes/strengths.
RESEARCHA scan of the EcoLeader Career Sector Outlooks is a good next step in mapping a career pathway. They cover jobs in categories such as agriculture, buildings, transportation and wildlife and cover key career planning information such as trends in hiring, types of jobs offered within the field, pay ranges, academic requirements and more.
RESOLVECreating an EcoMission helps combine our life purpose, values, the achievements and legacy we aspire towards, the skills and talents we can lend to the cause, and areas about which we wish to learn more into an inspiring goal to achieve.
REALIZEThe next step in creating a career pathway is to evaluate academic requirements, applicable credentials, and professional associations. Many people simply study a topic of interest and then hope for a match with career interests and opportunities. A better option is to research and plan a thoughtful, yet flexible, life-long academic path and to revise it over time to better align with vocational interests.
REACH OUTNow that you have an idea of where you want to go with your career and some ideas of how to get there, it’s a good time to reach out to your personal and professional network to get direct input and guidance. This can take the form of a simple, one-time, informational interview; a deeper mentorship relationship, or learning by doing at a paid or unpaid internship.