- Schedule an Appointment
- Major/Career Exploration
- Internship/Job Search
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After you have determined your interests, skills, and values, generated a list of key criteria, and have begun researching various career fields and occupations, you may be ready to develop a list of occupational targets. An Occupational Target is a personal statement defining the specifics you wish to attain through work. Having clear occupational targets can help you better communicate with those in your professional network and with potential employers about the specifics of what you are seeking within a career. The Career Services Center can assist you with creating and/or solidifying your occupational target(s). If interested, you can schedule an appointment with a career counselor.
What Do I Include in an Occupational Target?
We recommend utilizing the following six elements to piece together your personal occupational target. Remember, the elements you choose should align with your personal situation.
- Career Field: a general area of work which includes many different job titles that require similar kinds of work activities (e.g. Law Enforcement or Education)
- Position Title: also known as an occupational title or job title, is the name of a specific position one holds (e.g. Special Agent or Teacher)
- Industry: refers to settings in which you might like to work (e.g. Federal Government or Private Education Sector)
- Functional Area: refers to the structure of an organization and the specific part of the organization you would be interested in working in (e.g. CIA or Special Education)
- Population: the people (customers or clients) you would like to work with as you do your work (e.g. National Clandestine Service or Kindergartners)
- Skills: a personal attribute, talent, or ability that you bring to an experience or that you acquired through a job or some form of learning (e.g. critical thinking, complex problem solving, and strong written communication skills or exceptional patience, classroom management, and critical thinking)
Pulling It All Together
Occupational Target: To be a Special Agent in the CIA National Clandestine Service using my interest in law enforcement and my strong critical thinking, complex problem solving, and strong written communication skills.
Occupational Target: To be a Kindergarten Teacher in the Private Education Sector using my interest in education and my exceptional patience, classroom management, and critical thinking.
Additional Examples of Clear and Specific Occupational Targets
Instead of this: Help students find jobs
Try this: Become a career counselor in a medium-sized private university in the Midwest using my counseling, communication, and organizational skills
Instead of this: Help people utilizing my listening and communication skills
Try this: Represent the rights and interests of crime victims as a victims advocate in the county court system utilizing my listening and communication skills