When it comes to planning and developing your career, you’ll be faced with many decisions. But you don’t have to feel overwhelmed or intimidated — every decision is an opportunity to learn and grow. We can support you and help you gain confidence as you make important decisions in your career journey.
This page will help you:
- Be strategic
- Build confidence
- Identify and develop strengths, values and interests
Decisions, decisions, decisions
You may not realize that your interests, values and skills fit with a wide variety of careers and industries — but they do. Before you start making significant career decisions, it’s important to reflect on your experiences and professional traits.
Reflecting means taking the time to get to know your skills, career interests and goals. This will set you on the right track so that you can explore your career options and discover your next move.
Career Planning Essentials is a free, self-paced online program
This course is designed to help you build more self-awareness, reflect on what is important for you and explore your career options. At the end, we’ll help you pull together everything you’ve learned and develop an action plan.
Modules cover the following topics:
- Career planning and values
- SkillScan assessment: Discover your skills and connect to the workplace
- Personality assessment: Discover your personality and careers that fit
- Interest inventory, Digital Challenge Cards: Discover your areas of interest
- Recap and action planning
- Career and further education exploration resources
Register for Summer 2021. Note: You’ll need to log in with your MacID to access registration.
You can register any time and work through the modules at your own pace. Register for the course on OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Volunteer and Experience Building > Program Registrations. Then, find the most recent registration link on the calendar.
Individual career counselling is available to support you as you work through the course. Please book a career further education planning appointment on OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Appointments > Careers.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: A personality assessment that will help you learn about your natural preferences and strengths. An individual debrief with a career counsellor is required. Email email@example.com to get started. ($20 subsidized fee)
Strong Interest Inventory: An interest assessment that gives you a detailed report on your interest themes, and offers career suggestions. An individual debrief with a career counsellor is required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. ($10 subsidized fee)
SkillScan Drive Report: A self-directed skills assessment tool that features a comprehensive profile of your transferrable skills and preferences. Your report will include detailed information about your strengths, practical ideas for developing skills and suggested career and education options. An individual debrief with a career counsellor is recommended. Email email@example.com to get started.
Digital Challenge Cards: A career discovery and assessment tool that can help you consider your career options based on what has purpose and meaning for you. All you have to do is think about which challenges you want to explore. Learn more and get started with Digital Challenge Cards.
TypeFocus: Personality, interest and values assessments that will help you identify your natural strengths and preferences. An individual debrief with a career counsellor is recommended. Learn more and get started with TypeFocus.
Career Cruising: A database of career and education information to help you explore and learn about your career and education options. This resource has a basic career quiz to get you started. Learn more and get cruising.
CareerStorm Navigator: A set of online career and life development tools that can help you reflect honestly about your career and life goals and priorities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Have questions about career assessments?
Contact SSC career counsellor Kerri Latham (email@example.com) to learn more about career assessments and how they can help you.
Our career counsellors can help support your career decision-making. Book an appointment on OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Appointments > Careers.
Have just a few quick questions?
Our drop-in career services can provide answers to most simple career questions. Virtual career drop-ins are open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Go beyond Google with your research
Making informed career decisions requires research. During this process, you may find out that the realities of certain industries or positions differ from your expectations or assumptions. Here are some recommended resources to help you go beyond Google in your research.
- ALIS: Alberta occupations database
- BC Career Trek: Videos of people in various career fields and industries
- Career Cruising: Canadian career and education database
- ConnectEd: Day in the life video series
- O*Net: U.S. national occupational database
- Ontario Labour Market: Job market information on more than 500 occupations
- U.S. Bureau of Labour: Occupational information and labour trends
The SSC career counsellors have curated these resources to help you connect your major options to career possibilities.
Have a career conversation
Often, the easiest way to learn the truth about a specific industry or position is to chat with someone who’s been there through a career conversation or informational interview. Informational interviews aren’t as intimidating as they may sound. They’re usually an informal conversation with a professional who can answer questions and offer advice related to their career field.
Did you know you can find a mentor and sign up for career conversations through OSCARplus? Opportunities exist for one-on-one career conversations or long-term mentorship programs. To sign up for a career conversation or register for a mentorship program, visit OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Mentorship and Career Conversations.
First Year After Graduation (Crystal Lobo)
Booking an appointment with CAPS was one of the best decisions I have made for my career... I didn’t know McMaster offered a service like this, I was able to book regular meetings and do anything that I needed. The experience offered me a personalized support system for whatever my needs were, whether that was job hunting tasks like resume building or even just going over all the things I needed to do for my classes and making a plan to get them done. And sometimes, it was just nice to talk to someone and share about my day.
Life is an open door: My experience at Career Planning Group
I started that day feeling stuck. When I left the group, I felt like a different person. I felt like I could breathe again. There was hope ahead of me. After that day, Kerri booked individual career counselling appointments with me, and we worked collaboratively to develop an action plan. Kerri, and the Career Planning Group, grabbed my hand and saved me out of the water.Read the Journey about Life is an open door: My experience at Career Planning Group