My name is Cheryl Hoffman and I wanted to introduce myself to you as I am a new Career Coach at the College of Business Administration, Office of Professional Development and will be responsible for students within the Accounting major. I am a graduate of Rollins College with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and have over 15 years of combined experience in the Management and Human Resources fields. During my career thus far I have provided career coaching and job placement for students, graduates and professionals in a variety of fields and functions. Coaching and career development has long been my passion and I am very much looking forward to being a part of your college and working with you to achieve your goals and dreams for the future…

Finding your career direction… How long has it been since you asked yourself what do you want to do when you grow up? The process of uncovering what you are meant to do, that is finding career direction, can be a daunting journey without a guide. It starts with discovering the authentic “you,” the person who truly resides behind the disguises, defenses and stresses of routine daily life, and collecting information on what options are out there for careers.

Consider your interests and values. Before you do anything, consider what your interests and values are and write them down, think about why you enjoy them and why they are important to you. This is one of the reasons we have our students complete the assessment on during your first GEB class. If you would like to be involved with your family, you will not want a career that requires heavy travel. Take an honest look at your priorities and understand how they would be affected by the career you are considering. If a potential career will not allow you to live the way you want, check it off your list.

Interview other professionals. If you are interested in several careers, interview people already working in those fields. Most people are happy to discuss their day-to-day activities with an eager listener. Even for a casual informational interview, go in prepared with as much information as you can possibly acquire. Research the company, and even more importantly, give the person’s LinkedIn a thorough review. Find out where he/she went to college, where he/she worked before this and his/her full job history. Have insightful questions prepared beforehand. When you conduct your in person or phone interview and your interest is peaked, ask if you can shadow someone for a day. That will give you a clear idea of what their day is actually like.

Speak to a Career Coach. A conversation with a career coach may give you a clearer focus and point you in the right direction. They can also inform you about careers you had no idea even existed. Note: Your College of Business Administration, Office of Professional Development has you as a student within the college assigned to a Career Coach that will provide you with a one-on-one meeting to discuss your career options and opportunities. All you have to do is call and set up an appointment, we are happy to help.

Network, network, network! Check out networking groups or organizations of interest and talk to people about their careers and why they chose them. If you don’t have a current member to attend with, contact the group or organization for an overview of their guest or attendance policy. Volunteering is another great way to network as well as gain valuable information on specific industries and careers without pressure. You’ll be exposed to the profession, but can easily leave it if you decide it’s not for you.

The more effort you put into your search for the right career, the more you’ll get out of it. This journey never really ends because work itself is all about change and reinvention. If you have been searching hard and continue to be confused, don’t give up. Career paths can take many forms, twists and turns, there is no one certain path to excellence in any profession. Individual experiences, as well as on-going growth and development, are all part of the bricks that pave the path to career success.