Career Action Plan

Develop Your Own Career Action Plan

Enhance your "Work Ready Skills" and build a network of contacts that will support your career goals by developing your own Career Action Plan. 

Start today! Your plan should be:

  • Comprehensive
  • Continuous and evolving as you grow (update when appropriate)
  • A helpful guide that you customize and update

 

Use the printable version of the Career Action Plan Checklist to personalize it for your own needs:

  • Record activities you have completed
  • Identify additional activities specific to your preparation
  • Make other related notes
  • Occasionally, refer back to this webpage and take advantage of any helpful updates, links, and attachments.
printable version of Career Action Plan Checklist

Career Action Plan Checklist

Whatever real success you have will be the result of listening to yourself, believing your dreams have value and honoring your vision with action.

Academic Planning

  • Get inspired!  Appreciate the benefits for continuing your education. Consider earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment. Remember to maintain excellence in your academic work from your first semester to your last. The better your grades, the better your opportunities.
  • Identify the degree(s) required for your career choice.
  • Consider Career Development coursework.
  • Identify a support network of faculty and advisors within your discipline to whom you can turn for guidance and advice to develop and critique your degree plan and outline the major courses and electives you plan to take each semester.
  • Cultivate a relationship with these mentors for ongoing assistance. Seek them out as soon as an issue arises.

    • Identify at least three strong references from your professors who know your scholarly abilities before you graduate.
    • Identify strong references from supervisors who know your real world experience and work skills. 

  • Become acquainted with offices on campus that provide academic support services for additional advising, study skills, workshops and learning centers, for example: to improve your study skills, boost confidence on exams and manage your time better you should check out the Seeds of Success Workshop.
  • Review course descriptions of both required and elective courses before the course begins (each semester) to ensure you are mentally prepared and that it is an appropriate choice. In the instance an elective is not appropriate, adjust your schedule ASAP.
  • Identify transfer schools and contact their Admissions Office for course acceptance.  Review the transfer steps you should follow.

Campus and Community Involvement

  • Attend an Orientation for new students.  Make a list of the resources and organizations you would benefit from learning more about.
  • Research a club or organization related to your major or career interests during your first semester and become an active member in your second semester.
  • Assume leadership roles during your first semester and become an active member in your second semester and contribute your talents to an organization by serving as an officer, chairing a committee, and/or organizing a major event.
  • Research the benefits of participating in the Honors Programservice learning projects or other volunteer activities.

Personal Growth

  • Learn how to establish goals and create action plans to achieve them.  Explore Personal Goal Setting.
  • Consider character traits or virtues you will embrace that will support your lifelong success.  See John Wooden's Pyramid of Success.
  • Attend workshops on study skills, time and stress management, and become familiar with wellness resources.
  • Find part-time, internships and/or a summer job to gain work experience preferably in your career field.  This will help you develop confidence, real world experience and good work habits.  Purple Briefcase is one resource you can use.
  • According to a Career Builder poll, 77% of hiring personnel consider "soft skills" just as important as tech expertise or field knowledge needed to perform a certain job. The top-five qualities employers are looking for:

    1. Strong work ethic
    2. Dependable
    3. Positive attitude
    4. Self-motivated
    5. Team-oriented

    Recognize that you likely have a minimum or 15-30 minutes in an      interview to "sell yourself." Self-critique the skills you have.  What additional skills do you plan to acquire or enhance? Self-assess your skills. 

  • Ask someone you value to identify two or three skills they suggest you focus on enhancing - be open to their feedback and write down their comments.  You can only get better by acknowledging areas you can improve.
  • Take SPC 141, Interpersonal Speech Communication and/or SPC 143, Small Group Communication which can help the student become a better team member and/or SPC 142, Public Speaking - all invaluable skills and helpful during a job interview.
  • Critique and enhance your professional wardrobe, if needed.  Consider asking for advice from those you would like to emulate.

Career and Life Development

  • View the 10-minute video Success in the New Economy to understand preparation today for tomorrow's labor market realities.
  • Check out "My Next Move" which is an interactive tool for job seekers and students to learn more about their career options.
  • If you are undecided about your career goal, take the FOCUS2 career assessment tool that provides information about career fields that match your skills, values, personality, work and leisure interests.  You can also make an appointment for career counseling
  • Visit the Career Services Library to view a diverse collection of career planning and job search resources.
  • Access Career Coach to find a good career by providing the most current local data on wages, employment, job postings, and associated education and training.
  • Attend Job Fairs to gather information about occupations, career paths and potential employers.
  • Need to develop a resume?  Need to update your old one? Get resume help.
  • Practice your interviewing skills and increase your self-confidence by participating in a mock interview. Tape yourself during a mock interview for self-critique.
  • Understand the impact of your online profile.  Explore ways to polish your social media presence.
  • Review Tips for Informational Interviewing on the last page of the Career Planning Guide (as early as your first semester).  Set up three informational interviews before pursuing an internship to understand the expectations of those working you in future career field.
  • Attend and view recorded Career Forums featuring professionals who speak about their fields and answer questions.
  • Join LinkedIn to create a professional profile and start making connections.  Work on your LinkedIn profile with trained counselors in Career Services (available every other Wednesday between noon and 1pm) and get a professional photo taken.

  • Learn strategies "to work a job fair" and write your "one minute commercial" to introduce yourself to recruiters.

  • Follow and complete pre-employment requirements (e.g. submission of transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.)
  • CollegeFish.org is a resource designed to help students plan beyond the Associate's degree including search information on over 2,000 colleges, research over 37 million in transfer scholarships, and stay on track by managing important deadlines.
  • For Veterans, explore various on-line sites for opportunities.

  • Explore whether you are eligible for military benefits, via MCC's Veteran Services Office
  • Make an appointment with a career counselor at Veterans Outreach Center.

Remember!  Persistence pays off!  Continue the search and interview process even after receiving the first job offer.  Just because one opportunity might feel right and you think you will be hired, a better fit may still exist.  Keep building your network of contacts to meet your goals.