The Steps of Career Development

En español

Career Development is a lifelong and ongoing process. While a student is at Marquette University, their career goals are sure to evolve in some way as they explore their academic interests, extracurricular, and co-curricular experiences.  

The Career Development steps highlighted below can be utilized each time a student or alum considers changing their major or career. While it is your student who will ultimately be making these decisions, having others around them in a supportive manner is important.  

Step One: Know Yourself​

A well-researched career decision is best made when one gains a sense of self-awareness and understands their strengths, weaknesses, talents, values, and interests. The Career Center can help your student assess their strengths, weaknesses, talents, values, interests and personality as they make decisions about possible majors and careers. The Career Center also offers a twelve-week, one-credit Career Exploration course. 

You can help by:

  • Encouraging your student to seek out opportunities that lean towards their interests and strengths
  • Encouraging your student to reflect on their experiences inside and outside of the classroom
  • Discussing strengths and skills you notice within your student
  • Encouraging your student to visit the Career Services Center

Step Two: Explore

The goal in this step is to build knowledge of the positions and industries available in the world of work. This also includes on-campus opportunities for exploration such as student organizations, leadership, and research. The Career Center can help your student discover various methods for obtaining information about career fields so that comparisons can be made.

You can help by:

  • Encouraging your student to gain insights through reputable online resources, workshops, informational interviews, industry guest speakers, panels, and other career events 
  • Comparing and contrasting your student's career fields of interest 
  • Encouraging your student to visit the Career Services Center

Step Three: Decide

The goal of this step is for your student to utilize their best judgment to select a course of action based on what they have reflected upon and explored in the previous steps. The Career Center can help your student discover various methods for Decision Making.

You can help by

  • Encouraging your student to think about a time in a past in which they had to make a difficult decision and the method they utilized for making the decision. 
  • Discussing your students preferred method of decision making. 
  • Encouraging your student to visit the Career Services Center

Step Four: Act

The goal of this step is for your student to try out careers through jobs, internships, volunteering, or co-curricular activities. In this stage, your student may also declare their major and build their network of professional contacts. Observing professionals and working in the field while gaining career-related experience are great methods for trying on careers. The Career Center can help your student with creating or enhancing their professional documents, preparing for interviews, and looking for relevant career-related opportunities

You can help by

  • If possible, connect your student with professionals you know working in their field(s) of interest
  • Encouraging your student to create/update their professional documents and seek assistance with interviewing
  • Encouraging your student to obtain a career-related experience whether it's an internship, co-op, part-time or summer job, volunteer experience, or service learning
  • Encouraging your student to visit the Career Services Center

​Step Five: Reassess​


This step is intended to give your student the opportunity to pause, reflect, and determine if they've successfully integrated their self-knowledge with their knowledge of the world of work. If they are satisfied with the path they have chosen, they can continue building the knowledge and skills needed for their selected field. If they are unsatisfied, they can use their experiences to shift course and re-enter the cycle of career exploration. The Career Center can help your student develop a plan which will help them progress towards their career goals.

You can help by

  • Being open to discussing your student's career goals in a supportive manner 
  • Encouraging your student to begin exploring necessary next steps for progressing towards their career goals 
    • If required to fulfill their career goals, encourage your student to explore graduate or professional school
  • Encouraging your student to visit the Career Center

The Career Center is dedicated to assisting undergraduates, graduates, and alumni no matter what stage they are at in the career development process.