Find Your Career Fit - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Find Your Career Fit


Once you've narrowed down some career options, try them on for size. These activities can help you experiment with different careers and get a foot in the door.

  • Enroll in a class in a particular area of interest to help you decide if you like the subject and if you have or can learn the skills needed.
  • Participate in career days and mentoring programs sponsored by your school.
  • Check with local organizations and businesses for volunteer and job-shadowing opportunities.
  • Search for internships at local businesses or organizations.
  • Choose part-time jobs that allow you to gain experience and help you build skills in your chosen career.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities and take advantage of leadership opportunities.
  • Join clubs that relate to your chosen field.
  • Talk to professionals in the field or call a college and ask to speak with faculty members to find out more information.

An Added Bonus

Experimenting with careers will not only help you plan for the future; it will also make you a better candidate for a job. While your education and relevant work experience are important factors in landing a job, employers look for specific skills and personal characteristics in a potential employee.

This list shows skills and traits employers want.

  • Analytical and research skills. Can you find the answers to problems?
  • Computer and technical skills. Do you have the know-how to do the job?
  • Communication skills (listening, verbal and written). Do people understand what you want? Do you understand what they want?
  • Dedication and loyalty. Can you be counted on to show up and work every day? Do you believe in the company's mission?
  • Flexibility and adaptability. Can you roll with the punches? Does change bother you?
  • Honesty and integrity. Can others count on you?
  • Interpersonal skills. Are you sensitive to others' backgrounds and issues? Do you relate well to others?
  • Leadership and management skills. Can you lead a team and organize projects?
  • Motivation and initiative. Can you start a project with little or no direction? Do you learn new things easily?
  • Planning and organizing ability. Do you pay attention to details? Can you prioritize several projects?
  • Reasoning and problem-solving ability. How do you react when something goes wrong? Do you have new or unique solutions to problems?
  • Self-confidence and reliability. Can you work on your own without a lot of supervision?


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