Career Planning Guide

Job satisfaction is directly related to careers that match your interests, skills, values and personality. Find a career you enjoy by following these five steps to make an informed career decision.

Complete a Self-Assessment

Complete a MyPlan self-assessment, which will allow you to reflect on and determine your interests, values, skills and personality traits. The results of the assessment will reveal career possibilities, so be sure to save the results or print them out to keep a hardcopy!

Contact Career Services via email at career@sar.usf.edu to get an access code for MyPlan. Please include your major and phone number in your request.

Gather Occupational Data

Read about occupations that match your interests, skills, values and personality traits. In this step, you should be gathering data about the nature of the work, working conditions, training and education requirements, skills required, employment projections and salaries. Then use the Career Planning Exercise to match your preferences to careers and compare different options.

Take a look at the following resources to help you gather this information.

Occupational Info Network (ONET): In addition to providing occupational data and research, ONET will assist you in exploring careers using a skill or tool and will crosswalk careers from the military into civilian careers. Review the work values, skills and the interest sections on ONET to compare them with your self-assessment. 

CareerOneStop: A comprehensive source of information to explore a variety of careers and industries. It is important to gain occupational information and trends within an industry because it can make a difference in job growth and salaries. Includes career videos, a military transition portal and much more.

Florida Wages can help you explore starting salaries for new college graduates.

Events on Campus: Attend a career expo on campus to explore careers or meet with a mentor to expand your industry connections and understanding.

Connect Majors to Careers

It's helpful to understand which majors might connect to which careers. A couple of resources to explore when connecting your major to a career include CollegeBoard's Major to Career Profiles, which helps summarize your career interests, and The World of Work Map, which identifies careers based on areas of data, people and ideas.

You can also reach out to our Career Services team to learn about career options related to your major!

Interview Others About Your Career Options

The best way to gain the greatest amount of insight into your career options is to speak with the experts. Try the following steps:

  • Ask your professor(s) about the career.
  • Talk to a Career Advisor about academic programs and their connections to career options you are interested in.
  • Talk to a professional working in your career of interest. This is the most important step in the career decision making process and is called an informational interview. You can gain valuable information directly from the professional about the skills required for the position, the trends in the field and the typical projects or assignments they perform. This is one way of test-driving your career before you invest your time and money into an academic program.
Make a Decision

You’ve made it to the final step!

You have gathered occupational information. You had fun visiting with faculty, advisors and professionals working in a field of interest. Now it’s time to make a decision. You may be able to decide on a major, which can lead to different career options. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a preference in the courses offered in one major over another major?
  • What are the pros and cons of one career over another?
  • How well does this career fit my personality, values, interests and skills?
  • How determines am I in pursuing this major?
  • What are the rewards or challenges that I might encounter along the journey?

After considering your answers and making a decision, put your goals in writing using the Career Goal Setting Exercise. We wish you the best of luck and will be here when you need us!


Career Inspiration Series

For more perspectives on making career choices, check out our Career Inspiration video series:

Jaime DiDomenico, President of Cool Today, Plumbing Today and Energy Today

Michael Klauber, Co-Proprieter of Michael’s on East and Michael’s Wine Cellar