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Career Center
MACC-203 (Rancho)

Phone: (909) 652-6511
Fax: (909) 652-6515

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Career Center

MACC 203 (Rancho Campus)
Walk-in Services and Appointments Available

Career Exploration

Getting Started

The career exploration process can be challenging, so we suggest a simple four step process to work your way through it – (1) Discover, (2) Explore, (3) Decide, and (4) Act.

Step 1 - Discover

The first step in choosing a career is to figure out where you stand today as a potential member of the workforce.  What are you good at?  What do you find interesting?  What is important to you?  What are you actually capable of doing?  Plus, you need to outline the type of career that will support your lifestyle.  How much money do you need to make?  How much education will you have?  Do you have any personal barriers that would prevent you from doing something that you love?  These are all questions that will be answered in the discovery process.

Step 2 - Explore

Once you have assessed yourself and have an understanding of where you stand today, the next step is to research the careers that are out there.  How much money do they make?  Is employment increasing or decreasing?  How much education is required?  Answers to questions like these will narrow your search and help you to focus on the most realistic career choices.  Much of the information that you will seek can be found online, but some information may only be available by meeting with actual workers, job shadowing, or connecting with industry professionals.

Step 3 - Decide

The third step in the career exploration process is to start making decisions.  Now is the time to decide where you want to go and figure out what you need to get there.  It is important to remember that a student today will have at least 3 different careers and 10 different jobs over a lifetime, so a decision for now is not necessarily a decision for life.

So far you have already made several decisions related to various facets of your life. You have decided which college to attend, what classes to take, and where to live.  It is now time to make additional decisions such as which college major to declare, which university to transfer to, and which career you will ultimately pursue.

Step 4 - Act

The career exploration process comes to a close as you begin taking steps toward accomplishing your goals and make progress toward the career of your choice.  For most students, this is the step where you will declare a major and meet with an academic counselor to develop an educational plan.  For others, this may be the time to start volunteering, conduct informational interviews, participate in job shadowing, or get an entry-level job.

Taking action may also require that you set a variety of goals for yourself, including educational goals, career goals, and personal goals.  The most helpful goals are SMART goals.  They are goals that are Specific, Measureable, Action-Packed, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Take one of your goals and make it a SMART goal by using this Goal Setting Worksheet.

Chaffey Programs

Chaffey College provides students with a variety of methods to go through the career exploration process.

Option 1: Career Center Services

The Career Center regularly offers career exploration workshops and one-on-one appointments throughout the year.

Contact the Career Center at (909) 652-6511 to schedule an appointment for career guidance.  Before your first appointment, it is recommended that you complete a series of career assessments.

Workshops are offered several times per semester.  Visit to view upcoming workshop dates and to sign up online.

Option 2: Guidance 3

For a very thorough approach to career exploration, students may enroll in the course Guidance 3 – Career Exploration and Life Planning.  This course is for students seeking direction in setting life, academic and career goals. Use of a psychological-social perspective highlights the person environment dynamics influential in the preparation for a fulfilling career and personal development. Topics include problem-solving approaches; evaluation of values, interests, skills, and personality characteristics; intensive career investigation; self-marketing skills development; psychological and social issues that impact career and life choices; academic learning strategies; college and life skills; diversity; and assessment of personal characteristics related to educational success.

Check the schedule of classes for upcoming course offerings.

Option 3: Self-Discovery

Take advantage of a variety of online career exploration websites designed to help you get started and set career goals as you see fit.

cacareercafe – A virtual career center for California community college students.  Get started, get a pathway, get experience, get advice, get job ready, and get hired!
cacareerzone – A career exploration and planning system designed especially for students.  This resource includes free career assessments, a career exploration tool, and the California Reality Check.
roadtripnation – Define your own road in life!  Listen to yourself.  Find the open road.  The Roadtrip Nation approach to career exploration is about finding your individual path to career success and satisfaction.
careeronestop – Sponsored by the US Department of Labor, CareerOneStop provides pathways to career success for job seekers, students, businesses and career professionals.
careersinthemilitary – Developed by the US Department of Defense, this resource provides information about career opportunities in all branches of the military.



Rev. 5/25/18

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