Career planning tool offers students online expertise

When students first arrive at York University’s Career Centre they are sometimes confused about where to start with their career planning and job searches. They know they want fulfilling careers after graduation, but they aren’t always sure about the steps they need to get there.

Career centre web pageThey have plenty of questions about where they should start and how to plan their careers. To help them achieve their goals, the Career Centre has developed My Career Plan, a new online tool developed just for York students.

A comprehensive career exploration and job search tool, My Career Plan covers the four main areas of career development:  Making Connections; Learning About Myself; Exploring My Options; and Looking for a Job. Each area has its own section that contains valuable information along with links to Career Centre workshops, services and events, as well as a variety of videos and suggested topical readings.

  • Making Connections speaks to students about the value of connecting with others, whether to explore some of the many career options available to them or to increase their chances of being hired into a specific job or company.  The section provides information about the importance of networking appropriately, as well as tips on connecting purposefully with others.
  • Learning About Myself stresses the importance of self-assessment as the foundation for career development and provides information and resource links to assist students with exploring their skills, aptitudes, interests, temperament, curiosities and accomplishments in order to determine the types of careers that might be a good fit for them.
  • Exploring My Options shows students how they can utilize their newly developed networks and sense of self-awareness to begin researching the many potential career options available to them. Resources in this section include information on conducting occupational research and assessing the need for further education.
  • Looking for a Job provides a wealth of resources for students interested in embarking on a job search, including ways of interviewing more effectively, tips on resumé and cover letter writing, and sample documents and advice about the importance of a targeted search.

Each section is laid out in a series of easy-to-follow steps. Using the Track My Progress tool, students can monitor their progress as they move through each of the topics. They can download a handy checklist available in a PDF format, or they can log in to the Career Centre’s online registration and job posting system to use the My Career Plan checklist.

“While the checklist represents the sequence of activities recommended by the Career Centre to maximize students’ effectiveness in navigating the career exploration and job search processes, My Career Plan was developed in recognition of the fact that students aren’t always at the same stage within the career development process,” says Julie Rahmer, acting director of the Career Centre. “Some students are clear about their career path and want to embark on a job hunt, while others need clarity about who they are and what they want in the world of work before they can even consider career options or start looking for jobs.”

Students have the option of working through the steps in the Career Centre’s recommended sequence or using any of the four sections of My Career Plan independently. “And of course, the Career Centre is here to help any students who may get stuck along the way,” says Rahmer.

“We hope that My Career Plan will be a useful tool for students at all stages of their career development,” says Rahmer. “While not intended to replace the broad array of career exploration and job search services provided by the Career Centre, My Career Plan helps students get comprehensive career support from anywhere they have access to a computer, at any time.”