Career planning

Four female students looking at a book in the career planning section of the Tatham Centre

Did you know that your major isn't your destiny? A lot of people's careers are non-linear and span multiple jobs and industries.

Self-reflection and research can be a great investment. At the Centre for Career Development, we have resources that can support you as you investigate your career options.

Before you get started, consider booking a career consult and/or a work search appointment to access support from a career advisor. Meet virtually or in person for a confidential discussion about your career strategy, job search tactics or grad/professional school prep.

Get to know yourself

Your strengths, values, interests and personality can help you navigate toward opportunities that you'll find satisfying. Reflecting on who you are, what matters to you, and what you're good at, can help you discover compatible traits between you and your chosen career. 

Understand yourself

  • CareerCruising (Get the login information for CareerCruising)

    • A resource to provide career discovery, self-exploration and planning to support you in achieving your career goals 

    • Please note: CareerCruising’s content is geared more to undergraduate students as they start their career journey.  

    • As a member of the University community, CareerCruising is a resource available to you at no cost.

  • TypeFocus (Get the login information for TypeFocus)

    • TypeFocus is a tool that provides online personality type and career assessment resources to help explore your possibilities.

    • As a member of the University community, TypeFocus is a resource available to you at no cost. 

  • Skills assessment in CareerHub

    • By examining your values, beliefs and interests you’ll be better able to identify opportunities and make decisions regarding your career direction.
  • Workshop highlight: Skills articulation workshop
    • This workshop can help you identify the skills they're developing throughout their undergraduate career.
  • Workshop highlight: Mapping out your career (part one)

    • In part one of this two-session workshop, explore the career planning process, how to deepen your understanding of yourself and your career options, and discover what challenges in the world you'd like to be part of.
Checklist with a lightbulb and pencil

Career exploration

Regardless of the careers you're interested in, it can be beneficial to know the skills, personal traits and educational background required for your desired career. Research can help you discover the answers to any questions. Talk to people who work in your areas of interest if you can. Do they require any professional certifications or exams? In the long run, understanding what to expect can ease some of the transitions ahead.

Explore your options

  • Occupational resources in CareerHub

    • Once you understand your skills, interests, values and personality preferences, the next step in planning your career is to gather quality information regarding occupations.
  • Government of Canada job bank

    • The job bank offers free tools and resources that can help you explore the Canadian labour market. Browse the tips and tricks about job search and recruitment.

    • This website contains career and employment information for Ontario residents.
  • Explore careers by occupation

    • Learn about wages, outlooks, education, skills needed for an occupation.
  • Ontario labour market

    • Data and analysis of trends in the Ontario labour market.
  • Stats Canada

    • The official source for Canadian social and economic statistics and products. Explore this website to understand labour market trends.
  • NOC (National Occupation Classification)
    • You can search the NOC to find where an occupation is classified or to learn about its main duties, educational requirements or other useful information.
  • Alberta Occupational Profile Information

    • Prepared by Alberta Government; searches by occupational title, by industry cluster, and by NOC number.
  • United States' Occupational Information Network (O*NET)
    • The United States primary source of occupational data with a vast majority if the info being applicable to Canada.
  • Workshop highlight: Discover a career you'll love
    • Discover what your key interest motivators are and how these can help you identify careers that align with these interests.
Magnifying glass searching a piece of paper

Decision making

Once you've identified jobs or career directions that interest you, it's time to narrow down your list to determine which options you'd like to pursue.

Whether you’re formatting your résumé, or thinking of a particular profession, it’s essential that you take your time to make choices that you are comfortable with.

Making choices

  • Career-decision making process section in CareerHub
    • Our resources are here to support you in making thoughtful and intentional decisions, paving the way to a satisfying career choice.
  • Workshop highlight: Skills to Build Your Career on
    • Identify your key power (transferable) skills and apply these to your career planning and development.
  • Workshop highlight: Career matchmaking: Personality and your career
    • Understanding your personality preferences and how these can relate to various work roles can help you make informed choices.
Two road signs pointing two different directions

Take action

Once your research is done and you’ve made some initial decisions about how you would like to proceed, it’s time to take your first steps toward reaching your goals. This may feel stressful at first. But remember: You are bringing your goals to life!

Take the initiative

  • Take action section in CareerHub
    • Now that you've made some decisions, use this section of CareerHub to reflect on your next steps.
  • Workshop highlight: Mapping out your career (part two) 
    • In part two of this two-session workshop, discover the work values that you desire in a career in order to be satisfied, learn how to conduct occupational research and how to put it all together in order to make informed career decisions. 
Person stepping forward with a checklist behind them

Graduate student or postdoctoral fellow?

What are you going to do next? Perhaps when thinking of your future, you imagine a job that applies your skills in industries such as government, consulting, non-profit organizations, etc. Or maybe you would like to pursue an academic career? Either way, we have resources that can help you as you forge ahead by:

  • Thinking bigger picture about your career options
  • Describing your skills, roles and responsibilities in non-technical language
  • Deciding whether the academic career path is right for you
  • Identifying the multiple career paths that align with your skills, interests and strengths
  • Job searching, applications, interview skills and negotiating a job offer

Thinking about continuing your education? 

You’re not alone. Depending on your career, you may need to take more courses, or even get a degree in an entirely new subject before approaching an employer. We have staff and resources that can guide you before you make your next move.