The Career Development Process
Welcome to Skidmore’s Career Development Center
We congratulate you on taking the initiative to schedule an appointment and meet with a career counselor. Engaging in the career development process is an exciting and continuous journey and we are happy that you’ve decided to take that journey with us. If you have not yet met with a career counselor, please call the office at (518) 580-5790 to schedule an appointment. To complete all of the steps in the career development process, it is recommended that you connect with the CDC during your 1st year at Skidmore.
Discovering Your Path
The career development process begins as soon as you enter college. Seeking assistance and guidance through Skidmore’s Career Development Center, located in Starbuck Center, is a great benefit for students at the College. Since finding the right internship or job based on an individual’s personality, values, interests and skills can often be a little overwhelming and confusing at times, the Career Development Center is here to help you every step of the way.
Step #1: Know Yourself ~ Self-Assessment (Looking Inward)
Career development starts by evaluating who you are as a person. This involves taking a personal inventory of individual personality, values, interests, and skills. The Career Development Center can assist students in identifying relevant personal characteristics that are key in finding suitable future work options and careers. The CDC can help students brainstorm possible options to open up ideas of new and exciting careers not previously considered. Career assessments such as My Plan can help promote a better understanding of personal attributes and skills.
Step #2: Explore Options ~ Research (Career Exploration)
One way to explore options is to obtain an insider’s perspective about the career field you are considering. You may choose to conduct informational interviews in person, phone, or by email. The Career Development Center’s Career Advisor Network, Alumni Relations Skidmore Connect, or LinkedIn are great ways to connect with Skidmore alumni, parents, and friends. You can gain experience through internships for the summer or during fall or spring semester or by job shadowing for one to several days. Professionals enjoy sharing their expertise with people interested in the field. Another resource you can use is What Can I Do With This Major? to find valuable information on career options based on your major.
According to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) article, Internships: Career Outcomes for the Liberal Arts, featured in the May 1, 2017 Journal, the Implications and Next Steps state that, “As we strive to maximize career success and postgraduate outcomes for all our students, we know that we need to support students to succeed academically. There is also evidence that internship participation (especially participation in multiple internships over the course of a college career), engagement in career development activities, and an accurate understanding of labor market realities are central to a student’s ability to respond to postgraduate opportunities and challenges.”
Step #3: Get Focused ~ Decision-Making
Once you’ve made a thorough self-assessment and have completed some research of career options, it’s time to make a decision. This can be difficult since there may still be many unknowns and a fear of making the wrong choice. The Career Development Center can assist by helping to identify careers that make sense given the information identified in the self-assessment and research phases of career planning and by supporting you through every step of the process.
Step#4: Take Action ~ Search (Taking Action)
It’s now time to look for potential internships and jobs, send out cover letters and resumes, and follow up with employers whenever possible. Keep in mind that cover letters and resumes are designed to make a favorable impression on employers (if done properly) and the interview process is what will ultimately land you the internship or job. Take time to research the employer’s website prior to the interview, and be prepared to ask thoughtful questions based on your research. Make an appointment to meet with a career counselor to conduct a mock interview prior to the actual interview. To help get you started, career coaches are available Monday through Friday, 10 am – 4 pm, in the Career Development Center to look over your resume and cover letter on a first come / first serve basis.
Step #5: Acceptance ~ Congratulations!
Wow! You’ve completed all of the steps above and you’ve been accepted into a new and exciting internship or job. Congratulations! Learning the skills above will increase your chances of gaining meaningful and satisfactory employment. You will continue the process of self-assessment, research, and decision-making in order to make effective and fulfilling career changes throughout your lifetime.
Celebrate Your Accomplishment!
So you’ve landed that great internship or job, now what? Stop by the Career Development Center to ring our Gratitude Gong so we can all celebrate. Share your story with the Career Development Center and we will share it in our communications with the Skidmore community via the CDC Newsletter, FB page, CDC promo screen, or flyers around campus.
The Career Development Center’s Gratitude Gong
~ Come Visit Us in Starbuck Center!
KNOW | EXPLORE | TRANSFORM
Skidmore’s Four-Year Career Development Initiative