Your 3-Phase Career Navigation Map

By CSU Global - November 16th, 2016

In honor of National Career Development Month this November, we’ve reached out to Allana Farley, CSU Global’s career center and internship coordinator, and Dr. Michael Ricco, CSU Global’s program coordinator for business management and career coach, to talk about student career success.

In today’s post, Allana and Michael map out their 3-phase career navigation program in life-long career management. Get an inside look at how two expert career coaches help students discover the best career for them, from deciding to earn a degree through graduation.

plan your career

Our career coaching mission is for students to graduate with a clear path to success. We want them to be equipped with the navigational tools necessary to reach their destination. Tools like a good resume, job searching skills, interview practice, and familiarity with the expectations of their industry are necessary for students to accomplish their career goals. In order to help students succeed and choose a career path, we created the career navigation map.

This 3-phase map outlines what students can do to improve their career opportunities while they complete their coursework. We want students to feel prepared for the workforce, both during their education, and after they have graduated.

Here are some steps you can take throughout your education to land your dream job when you’re ready.

Phase I: Choosing a Career Path – Explore/Discover
0-30 credits earned

Determine your academic plan based on your career goals: Work with an academic advisor to make sure you’re taking the right courses to graduate with the degree that fits your career goals.

Get an overview of your institution’s career services and available career coaches: Knowing what resources are available will help you make the best, and most timely, choices down the line. Matching with a career coach early in your education will be a huge help to making sure your career goals fit your interests and abilities.

Reference labor market research: Determine your future earning potential and the availability of jobs in your field by evaluating the labor market statistics published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics or O*NET. You may rethink your initial career choice after seeing the projected growth or salary of a particular role.

Access career and interest assessments: If you’re on the fence about the industry you want to pursue, utilize career-relevant quizzes and questionnaires. These can highlight natural traits and abilities that may make you successful in a specific field or role. Career coaches are crucial to defining the outcomes of these assessments and identifying your most employable qualities. Here are some to consider:
o O*NET Interest Profiler
o CISS (Campbell Interest and Skill Survey)
o 6 Best Free Strengths Test Sites

Develop your online resume: Whether you have years of work experience or are just joining the workforce, your online professional presence must constantly be developed. LinkedIn and Portfolium are both popular sites for employees and employers to highlight experience and qualifications.
Another way to highlight your experience is to seek out opportunities to publish content online that employers will discover if they Google you (and they will!). Try writing for a blog, creating a basic website about your work, or contributing to a professional site in your field.

o If you’re interested in writing for our blog, The Global Broadcast, email us here with your contact information and 1-2 writing samples.

Phase II: Steps on the Career Path – Navigational Tactics
30-89 credits earned

Attend career fairs/webinars/workshops/networking events: Once you’ve chosen a career path, or if you’re still deciding on the specific role, talking to people who have been there is your best resource to find out what the job is really like.

Consult with your career coach on your process and path: Identifying your program or major is one thing; knowing what happens after you’ve earned your degree is another. Your career coach can help you find out what entry level positions you’ll need to start in, define job titles best suited for your level of experience, and make sure you’re prepared to invest the time and effort necessary for obtaining your dream position.

Phase III: Staying on a Career Path – Charting Your Course
90+ credits earned

Enroll in a practicum or internship: Get an inside look at the profession through a practicum or internship. While you may not be paid for these positions, the experience can prove invaluable in the future.

Complete your online resume: As we said above, you must continually develop your online portfolio and professional network to be visible to potential employers. As your educational journey winds down, highlight relevant projects, papers, and internship accomplishments to showcase your skills.

Start your job search: Now is the time to shine. Work with your career coach and career services to find the best places to search available job listings in your industry.

Keep attending career fairs and networking events: At this phase these events are more about accessing opportunities, rather than gathering information. Make connections with people in the companies you’re interested, keep in contact to stay top-of-mind, and grow your circle of professional resources to continue growing your opportunities. Let your friends and family know what industry you’re interested in, you never know who you might get connected to.

As you start or continue your path to career success via educational development, accessing the career services provided by your university are crucial. These free services often cost much more if you seek them as a non-student. Match with a career coach early to make the most of their knowledge as you grow.

CSU Global students have free access to our career services, which include career coaching, resume help, a free profile on Portfolium.com, and a variety of digital resources that cover everything from interview prep, to job search, access to career expos, and industry leading experts.


Allana Farley HeadshotAllana Farley manages career navigation services at CSU Global. She holds an MBA and is a Global Career Development Facilitator. She brings more than 10 years of career and entrepreneurial training as an educational and career counselor and Peace Corps participant. Her work in higher education and with community-based organizations led to the development of innovative curriculum in technology, business, and career program which have been used as “best practices” nationwide.

Michael Ricco HeadshotDr. Michael Ricco has taught at CSU Global for the past 4 years and has served as the program coordinator for the B.S. in marketing program, and currently serves as the program coordinator for the B.S. in business management program. In his role, he assures that the business management program provides the learning expectations of students, faculty, and accreditors, while staying connected to students as an instructor and career coach. In his leisure time he likes to travel, ride his motorcycle, and garden.

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