I think I’ve decided on a career direction…

The best way to be sure is to observe the reality of the work, talk with people who do it, gain hands-on experience, or immerse yourself in different areas of your career path of interest. Try the following suggestions:

Try informational interviewing as a way to get the information you need to help you make your decision. Search the Online Alumni Directory (log into your my.stolaf account or create a new account) for potential people to contact in your occupational area. Think about the criteria that will help you decide if something is a good fit or not and be sure to ask questions that give you that kind of information. Ask about whatever is important to you-lifestyle, salary, opportunity for advancement, work culture, variety, freedom, etc. Link here to download a sample list of questions.

Engage in a job shadowing experience. Spend anywhere from a few hours to several days on-site observing professionals do what they do and seeing what a typical day is like in the career area you’re interested in. While you’re there, meet a variety of people who are in that line of work and do some informational interviewing to get others’ perspectives on what keeps them doing the work they do.

Get an internship, a summer job, or part time employment in your area of interest as a way to “test the water.” Come in to the Piper Center and talk with a peer advisor or career coach about resources to help you in your job or internship search.

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