Career Planning

One of the most important aspects of career planning is "research." You will need to research your own interests, as well as, the occupations you are considering as a career choice. There are many surveys, tests and inventories available if you need assistance discovering what your career interests are. However, the most important and often overlooked aspect of career planning is thoroughly researching the occupation(s) of choice.

It is helpful to read up on the occupation in books, on the internet or through other printed labor market information sources. However, the most enlightening way to learn about a chosen occupation is through informational interviewing.

Information Interviewing
This is actually talking to people who work in the chosen field, as well as interviewing employers who hire people in the position.

The questions asked during the interviews should not only focus on the positive aspects of the job, but more importantly, the negative aspects of the job. After all, there has to be some bad things or they wouldn¹t have to pay people to do it.

Ask About Negatives of the Profession
The positive things will naturally be easy to live with. It¹s the negative things you have to decide if you can accept. For example, for the nursing profession: A positive is that you get to help people, but the negative is that you may work with blood, guts and gore; people are not always appreciative; and you will work holidays and weekends in a hospital setting.

Expectation & Training Let Downs
People often spend years of their life and lots of money obtaining training in a field they see think they will enjoy. Once they are actually job seeking or working in the field they find out the profession was not what they had expected.

Another rude awakening is when people find out the training they received will not get them the job they expected upon graduation. That is why it is important to talk to several employers that hire workers in the occupation. Make sure that the skills they require for entry level employment are the skills you will be receiving at the training institution you choose.

Career Planning Assistance
Look at a sample of questions that may be asked during informational interviews (PDF).

Visit a Workforce Development Office or Missouri Job Center for more career planning assistance.

Equal Opportunity Employers / Programs
St. Charles County and its Workforce Development department are equal opportunity employers / programs. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers listed may be reached by persons using TTY / TDD equipment via the Missouri Relay Service at 711.