At Southeast, we understand that choosing which direction to take your academics and/or career is an exciting process, but it can also seem overwhelming. Whether you are a Southeast student who is ready to choose a major OR a student considering a major/career change, the S.E.M.O. Career Decision-Making Model is full of resources to assist you through that process.
Your individual search for the right major/career direction is unique to you, so the first (and most important) step in this process is sharpening your self awareness. Once you know WHO you are, discovering WHAT you want to do becomes much more clear.
What do you enjoy? What are you good at? What is important to you in life and how does that relate to your future career? Like any big decision (purchasing a car, a home, etc.), you want to make sure to weigh all of the variables. Below, we have provided a list of self-assessments which are designed to help you discover your interests, skills, personality, and values and connect this information with possible majors/careers.
FOCUS 2 ™ Career Planning System (Interests, Personality, Skills & Values) **Available through your Southeast portal**
FOCUS™ 2 combines 5 self-assessments, career/major exploration, & action planning in one system. Customized with Southeast majors, your assessment results are matched to career options & majors/programs offered at Southeast!
*Students, as a part of their UI100 course, are required to take the FOCUS™ 2. However, you can access it ANY time through your Southeast Portal under the Students tab*
O*NET Interest Profiler
This O*NET assessment tool is one of the most trusted FREE instruments available online. This tool can help you identify and discover your interests, connect how these relate to the world of work, and brainstorm careers you might want to explore.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter (Personality)
Take this quick personality instrument to help you discover more about your individual characteristics and how this can relate to your job search. IMPORTANT: Upon completion, choose the 'Temperament Mini Report' for free results. You DO NOT need to pay for a report. Explore the Keirsey website for more information on your temperament and how to connect it with possible career options.
The premise behind StrengthsFinder is that you will be happiest in a job that allows you to do what you do best every day. In contrast, jobs that do not exercise your personal strengths every day can eventually lead to boredom, alienation, and overall career unhappiness. This assessment will help you find your unique strengths and preferred ways of thinking, feeling, and working with others.
Completing this checklist will allow you to brainstorm what you know you are good at and self-rate your skills and abilities. Print and complete the checklist to help prioritize your skills. As you research majors/careers, consider the required skills for that career or jobs in that area, and whether or not these are skills you feel you possess or could develop.
*Other ways to identify your skills include reflection on your personal accomplishments, academic performance in various subjects, previous jobs or community service projects you’ve worked on, and feedback you receive from others.
Work and Lifestyle Values Worksheet
Your values are what is important to you. People tend to feel most satisfied when their work satisfies their values. Work values are the characteristics of a job that are important to you, such as salary, amount of independence, required hours, etc. Lifestyle values characterize what preferences you desire for your future, such as living in a particular location, a fulfilling family life, ability to travel etc.
Print and complete the checklist to help prioritize YOUR values. As you research potential majors and careers, consider whether or not they will allow you to fulfill these values/life preferences.
Now that you have a more clear understanding of your unique set of interests, skills, strengths, personality & values, you are now equipped to begin the 2nd stage of your journey: Exploring Your Options. Below is a list of resources for you to begin connecting your personal characteristics to possible Southeast majors, specific careers or both.
This link will provide you with a close-up view of the more than 200 areas of study at Southeast.
Finding a career which you enjoy is incredibly important! Upon completing the Work Interest Assessment section of the Focus 2 Assessment, each Southeast student can access his or her "Holland Code". This code represents your three most prominent interest themes (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional), which can be directly related to the type of work or career you might enjoy. Click here to view lists of specific Southeast Majors you might be interested in based on your unique Holland Code.
Whether you’re exploring several majors or looking to gain further insight into your chosen field, this website will help you connect majors to careers.
This site helps students and professionals plan more fulfilling lives by making well-informed decisions about their education and careers. From choosing a major to planning for a career, MyPlan.com can help to bring clarity and insight into figuring out what’s right for you.
This site contains a plethora of resources from job market information to occupational videos.
O*Net is a primary source of occupational information, allowing users to search and review hundreds of occupations.
A premier source for career information. The featured profiles cover hundreds of occupations and describe what they do, work environment, how to become one, pay, and more.
A web based resource to assist Missouri citizens with everything from exploring different careers to developing job search strategies.
Explore Glassdoor to gain unlimited student access to millions of salaries, company reviews, and specific interview questions from current and former employees at over 280,000 companies. This is a great place to explore companies and occupations.
So you have explored your own personal characteristics, used this information to research possible majors or career directions, and you've narrowed your options down quite a bit. Now what? Below are helpful decision-making strategies to assist you as you look to move to a decision(s) regarding your college major and/or career direction.
1. Clarify decision difficulties
List items which make your decision(s) challenging. Once you clearly define your concerns, the solutions are often easier to visualize.
2. List how you can obtain support
Remember, you have friends, relatives, counselors, and others to assist you. Although the decision(s) must ultimately be yours, you don’t have to go through the decision making process by yourself.
3. Consider whether a deeper issue may be complicating things
Examples could be related to parental pressure, lack of confidence, or motivational concerns which may be impeding your decision(s).
4. Consider all of your alternatives
You want to be sure to examine all of the possible alternatives. Discussions with others is a good method for making sure you’re seeing everything.
5. Clarify your goals
You want to make sure the foundation for your decision(s) is set. By having clearly defined goals to guide you, the best choice between all of your alternatives becomes clearer.
6. Understand all of the consequences of your decision(s)
While you should not concentrate solely on potential negatives, you want to make sure you understand all aspects of your decisions(s), both positive AND negative.
7. Seek assistance if needed
If at any time you have questions or need assistance with your decision process, career counselors are available at the Office of Career Services by appointment to assist you. *Call (573) 651-2583 to set up an appointment*
Adapted from Gary Lynn Harr’s book, Career Guide: Road Maps to Meaning in the World of Work, 1995.
Now that you have sharpened your self-awareness, explored various majors and/or career options, and reached a possible decision, it’s time to take further action and organize your plan.
Whether you are still exploring your options or are well-established in your major at Southeast, it is important to have a plan. During your academic journey at Southeast Missouri State University, we encourage you to use our 4-Year Career Development Plan for Southeast Students as a guide to make sure you're on track to meeting your academic and career goals.
For more individualized assistance, career counselors are available at Career Services Monday-Friday, 9am - 4pm for one-on-one appointments to assist you in your career/major decision making process. Call Career Services at (573) 651-2583 to set up an appointment today!