Career Exploration for students : How to Explore your Career ?

Career Exploration Definition:

Career exploration is the collection and analysis of information regarding career related issue. Most Students need to gather information, so they can become keenly aware of their own values, interests, and talents, as well as the opportunities and obstacles in their environment. It is assumed the more extensive and more appropriate the career exploration. The more likely people will become aware of different facets of both themselves and the world of work.

Career Explore does promote awareness:

First, people may not know themselves nearly as well as they think they do. Such as, they may not have a clear understanding of what they really want from job or life. People often need to collect the necessary data to increase awareness in these areas.

Types of Career Exploration for Students:

There have two types of career exploration;

  • 1. Self Exploration
  • 2. Environmental Exploration

It is helpful to think of career exploration in terms of the type of information. Example, Self exploration can provide a greater awareness of personal qualities. People may come to possess a deeper understanding of the activities they like and dislike. Self exploration can also provide substantial information about strengths, weakness, talents, and limitations. Self exploration can provide a better understanding of the balance of work, family, and leisure activities that best suit a preferred life style.

Environmental exploration, as the name implies, helps one learn more about some aspect of the environment. Environmental exploration can help a person learn more about alternative organizations or about more particular organization in more depth.

Self Exploration  Environmental Exploration
InterestsTalents Strengths Weaknesses Work Values Job Challenge Job autonomy Security Life balance Money Working conditions Helping others PowerTypes of occupationsTypes of IndustriesNecessary job skillsJob alternativesCompany alternativesImpact of family on career decisions

Self Exploration – Career Exploration for students:

When one engage in self exploration, information is sought about a variety of personal qualities and attitudes that are relevant to career decision making. These qualities can include values, interests, personality factors, talents or abilities, life style preferences, and any weakness. To develop accurate career identity and set meaningful career goals, it is essential to understand what one wants from work and non-work roles and what skills and abilities can be brought to work environment.

Values are abstract outcomes that a person wants to attain. They highlight individual differences in preferences for the rewards, payoffs, or other aspects of a job or a career. There are six primary values:

  • Theoretical
  • Economic
  • Aesthetic
  • Religious
  • Social
  • Political

Interest refers to likes and dislikes attached to specific activities or objects. Interests, therefore, are expressions of what a person likes to do. Interests are derived from such factors as values, family life, social class, culture, and the physical environment.

Personality is another area of self exploration that can influence career choices. There are five basic personality factors.

  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Emotional stability
  • Openness to Experience

Talents also a significant component in career management. Talents refer to aptitudes or capacities and currently developed skills or proficiencies and reflect what a person can do or could do with proper training.

Interests, values, personality, and talents are interrelated in several respects.

One research identified the following eight career anchors:

  • Technical/Functional Competence anchor
  • Managerial competence anchor
  • Autonomy /Independence anchor
  • Security Stability anchor
  • Service/Dedication anchor
  • Pure Challenge anchor
  • Life Style Integration anchor
  • Entrepreneurship anchor

Career Exploration Effect on Students Career Management:

Career exploration has a beneficial effect on career management. The most immediate consequence of career exploration is an enhanced awareness of self and environment. A number of studies that as individuals engage in more career exploration, they become more aware of themselves and their chosen career. Similarly, certain forms of career exploration can increase the amount of information people acquire during the job search process.

Career exploration can help people develop occupational goals, although it is likely that the focus and the quality of the exploration, rather than its mere quantity, facilitate goal setting.   

Career exploration can help people become more aware of them-selves. They are ready to handle the formidable task of formulating career goals and decisions and are able to develop strategies necessary to accomplish significant goals.


Awareness is relatively complete and accurate perceptions of one’s own qualities and the characteristics of one’s relevant environment.

This is model of career management, a thorough awareness of self and environment enables a person to set appropriate career goals and to develop appropriate career strategies. Awareness is a central concept in career development.

Career Goal:

A career goal is a desired career related outcome that a person intends to attain. Employees who are committed to specific, challenging task goals outperform those who do not have goals or have a weak commitment to established goals. The advantage of establishing a career goal is that a person can direct his or her efforts in a relatively focused manner. Once goals are in place, complementary behaviors and attitudes that reinforce these goals occur.

Career Strategy: 

A career strategy is a sequence of activities designed to help an individual attain a career goal.

Many organizations develop explicit strategic plans that enable them to pursue their goals successfully. The same principle of strategic planning is applicable to individual career management.

Research has sought to identify the kinds of strategies employees use to improve their chances of career success. These studies suggest that there are seven broad types of career strategies:

  • Competence in the present job
  • Extended work involvement
  • Development of skills
  • Opportunity development
  • Development of supportive relationship
  • Image building
  • Organizational politics.

Career Appraisal:

Career appraisal is the process by which people acquire and use career related feedback. In work, as all of life, people need to know how they are doing.

Constructive feedback enables people to determine whether their goal and strategies still make sense. Career appraisal, which enables a person monitor the course of a career, represents the adaptive, feedback function of career management.