Most adults spend the majority of their waking hours at their job. People who enjoy their jobs tend to earn more money, report greater satisfaction with their lives, and experience better health. People are more likely to enjoy their job when their job is interesting to them.
Therefore, career exploration specialists typically encourage people to go into an occupation that matches their personal interests, abilities, values, personality, etc.
But there are more than 900 occupations that exist today. How are you supposed to identify which occupations may fit you best?
Many of us just figure out our career as we go along. This often works out just fine. In fact, given the twists and turns of life, it can be unrealistic to plan out a lifetime career path and expect everything to go according to plan. Furthermore, there are millions of people in this world who have very little choice when it comes to choosing what work they will do to earn a living. They do not have the luxury of taking their interests, abilities, etc. into account when choosing a career path.
However, if your economic and life circumstances allow you to have some choice about what kind of work you will do in the future to earn a living, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking a systematic approach to exploring potential occupations.
Ideally, everyone would work with a qualified career exploration specialist who is trained to guide their clients through a systematic career exploration process. However, most of us don’t have the money or opportunity to obtain personal career counseling.
Thankfully, there are many free, high-quality online resources that can help you explore the world of work. However, it can be hard to know which resources are trustworthy and what resources should be used earlier versus later in the career exploration process.
This is what motivated me to build a online guide describing the Systematic Career Exploration Approach (SCEA).
The SCEA is a method of systematically exploring yourself and the world of work in order to find the occupations that fit you best. It is not a occupations database, personality test, or comprehensive career platform (lots of these already exist). Rather, it’s a step-by-step guide that teaches you how to use high-quality resources (that can be accessed via the internet for free) in order to make informed career decisions.
The SCEA combines the best of what I have learned about effective career exploration as a career counselor, licensed psychologist, and university professor. (Learn more about my professional qualifications here.) It incorporates many of the same tests, resources, and strategies that $100/hr career counselors use with their paying clients.
Access to the SCEA is completely free of charge, and always will be. I believe it’s important that all people, including those who didn’t have the cultural and financial privileges that I had growing up, have access to good career exploration resources.
The following pages in this section of my website will walk you through the four steps of the SCEA:
- Step 1: Explore Your Career Interests
- Step 2: Create Your Occupations Roster
- Step 3: Narrow Your Occupations Roster
- Step 4: Identify Education & Training Options
The menu on the left side of this page can be used to jump back and forth between any part of the SCEA.
Before we jump into Step 1, let’s start with an overview of some key things you should know when using the SCEA.
(By further accessing the SCEA webpages, you agree to the terms and conditions set forth in the SCEA Fine Print.)