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Career Counseling

Careering, finding YOUR career path is a process that requires self-awareness and self-assessment. Some people seem to just know what a good “fit” career area is for them but most people find the process challenging. One career theorist defines career as “the course of events that constitutes a life; the sequence of occupations and other life roles which combine to express one’s commitment to work in her or his total pattern of self-development” (Super, 1976). Talking with people in your field of interest and gathering information from websites and books is usually helpful. Happily there are many career sites on the Internet. A number of links are listed below.

SCCC students usually become involved in searching for a career during their Freshman Seminar class. The Counseling and Advising Center offers SCCC students a web-based career program called Bridges: Choices and Planner. It can be accessed with the SCCC site ID and Password which can be obtained in the Counseling and Advising Center in B206. SCCC students may meet with a Counselor to discuss their interests and questions. Individual appointments may be requested by current SCCC students by calling Stephanie Kuran at 973-300-2234 or by emailing her at skuran@sussex.edu.

Assessment tools and job search programs

FEDERAL WORK STUDY INFORMATION

In order to qualify for work study you must file a FAFSA.
You must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
Financial Aid will screen each student and let you know if you qualify.

Benefits of the job:

  • You will gain new skills and knowledge
  • You will have the opportunity to make 7.25 an hour.
  • It is a great chance to increase your network
  • Positions are convenient and flexible.
  • Looks good on resumes and applications!

Email any questions to Stephanie at: skuran@sussex.edu

Frequently Asked Questions about Careering:

  1. How do I decide my career direction?
  2. Is there just one career that’s right for me?
  3. What resources are available for SCCC students?
  4. What resources are available for SCCC alumni?
  5. What jobs are available on the SCCC campus?
  6. What career resources are available for the general public?
  7. Where can I find career information on the Internet?
  8. What job sites are available on the Internet?
  9. What is an Informational Interview?
  10. What help is available for Resume Writing?

1. How do I decide my career direction?

The field of career theory offers processes that will help you in this journey of finding a satisfying career. There is no one way to go about this complex and challenging process, but it is helpful to always think of it as a process.

Jumping into a career area without adequate information can be frustrating. For example, a student may start in a Business degree curriculum only to find he/she dislikes Accounting courses. This may lead to a change in major which would allow exposure to other business classes, or it may signify a complete career change. Exploration is necessary. Sometimes people will make a career choice based on how others see them or how much money they anticipate making. This type of decision making is short- sighted. Theory tells us that the better we know ourselves and the more we make the connection between who we are and an occupational choice, the happier we are in what we do.

Careering involves a conscious examination of one’s roles. Examples of the many facets or roles we have include student, worker, spouse/partner, parent, and citizen. Examining these roles allows us to look at the interconnections among those roles, how one impacts another, and to plan for balance. Additionally, a person may choose a paid occupation that fulfills some needs and values but has strong non-work interests in other areas such as hobbies, activities, family, etc. that bring satisfaction.

Sadly many people slip into work roles that are fundamentally wrong for them, and in hindsight, they often say they never really gave their career direction much thought. So, by asking the question, “What is my career direction and how can I make good decisions?” you are already thinking that a plan for your journey is necessary!

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2. Is there just one career that’s right for me?

There are many careers that are a good “fit” for each person. In general the process of choosing careers involves a person’s Interests (what someone is passionate about), Work Values (the things that are most important to you about a job), and your Skills and Abilities. One’s personality, i.e., how a person is energized, how they collect information and make decisions and how they view their lifestyle, is an additional helpful key to making a good “fit”. SCCC students have been exposed to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that provides information on personality. Some abilities may be innate but most skills are learned.

Most people have had many ideas of what they wanted to be. As children, they may have responded to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with daily changes or fantasy figures like a ninja turtle or a superhero or someone who impressed them like their teacher. Some people follow their original career interest but most people transition or change their career choices throughout their life. Usually people recognize their own career path as having connections from one job or occupation to the next.

Fifty percent of people who graduate from a four year college have changed their majors at least once. It is a myth that people who have changed majors don’t know what they want. For most students it is a process that needs serious exploration and understanding of options along with continual self-assessment.

Careering is truly a lifetime process involving vocational and avocational balance.

Career Theorist Dr. John Krumboltz urges people to examine their everyday experiences through a process called Planned Happenstance. “Use every experience as a way to learn. Each new job is another learning experience…You can create your own unplanned lucky events by volunteering your assistance, joining organizations, talking with friends and strangers, surfing the web, reading books…and making yourself valuable to others. Expect to make mistakes and experience failures…sometimes they lead to even better outcomes than you could have predicted”. (Krumboltz, 2002).

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3. What resources are available for SCCC students?

Career Library and Computer Programs:

The career library is located in the Counseling and Advising Center. Books and videos may be borrowed by current SCCC students. Videos of SCCC Career Symposiums: Education, Health Care Careers, Graphic Arts, Web Design, On-line Journalism, Business, Paralegal and Criminal Justice. Videos: Respiratory Therapy, e-resumes,

Bridges Choices and Planner is an internet program useful for self-assessment, to find information about occupations, majors, and schools. If you are a SCCC student and need the password you may either stop by the Counseling and Advising Center or email Stephanie Kuran at skuran@sussex.edu.

Discuss meeting with Stephanie Kuran by calling her at 973-300-2234.

SCCC students may email with a person who has worked in a particular occupation. Access through The Counseling and Advising Center.

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4. What resources are available for SCCC alumni?

Check out the Internet sites listed- there is a lot of information available online.

Current SCCC students or SCCC Alumni may request individual career counseling. Appointments are made by calling Stephanie Kuran, 973-300-2234, or email skuran@sussex.edu. Appointments are made based on the counselor’s availability.

SCCC alumni may request help for career transitions as well as for a resume critique. Contact skuran@sussex.edu

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5. What jobs are available on the SCCC campus?

  • Federal Work-Study is a program open to students who qualify through our Financial Aid Office. Once a student qualifies to work, they meet with Stephanie Kuran to discuss a possible placement. The current rate of pay is $7.25 an hour unless specific skills are required. Positions are available on campus and in community organizations. The benefits from this program are far beyond the wages paid. There is a job board specifically for Federal Work Study Positions between the Counseling and the Financial Aid offices. Keep in mind that a job may be created to meet your interests.
  • All other SCCC job opportunities, full-time, part-time and summer, are posted on the SCCC website under the heading Job Board (www.sussex.edu/jobboard). This Job Board is offered as a community service and also includes listings sent to SCCC by area employers; the list includes full-time, part-time and summer listings. The Job Board is also available on the Bulletin Board outside the Counseling and Advising Center in B building.

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6. What resources are available for the general public?

  • SCCC is a One-Stop partner with the N.J. Department of Employment and Training Services. There are computers available in The Counseling and Advising Center for career and job related research.
  • SCCC does not provide one-on-one career related services to those not affiliated with SCCC. The following resources are available:
    • SCCC’s Community Education and Workforce Development Program offers short term career and life-planning classes.
    • Counseling and Advising Center Workshops (www.sussex.edu/counseling/workshops) are open to the general public.
    • Access to Internet sites which have a tremendous amount of career related information on The Counseling and Advising Center student computers.

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7.Where can I find career information on the Internet?

Careering:

Occupation Information:

Personality and Temperament:

Choosing a Major:

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8. What job sites are available on the Internet?

Employment/Jobs/ Internship/Resume:

Internships:

  • Some SCCC academic majors include Internships as part of the course requirements. SCCC does not currently have any other Internship program.
  • Internship web-site: www.njintern.com

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9. What is an Informational Interview?

People will talk to you about their professional and personal experiences with the world of work. It can be very helpful to talk to people who work in career areas you are exploring. Obviously some care should be taken when gathering information this way since everyone’s experience differs; however, this type of interviewing can be very validating and may even provide the beginnings to a mentoring relationship.

Here are some sample questions to get you started. Feel free to go with the flow of the interview rather than thinking you must get all the answers. Explain why you are doing this interview and why you picked them to interview.

    1. How did you choose this career area? Or How did you figure out your passion?
    2. Did you always know what you wanted to do with your life?
    3. Did you ever feel lost when working towards your career direction?
    4. What advice would you give someone interested in a job in this field?
    5. What education and training is needed to start in this career?
    6. What type of person do you think does well in this career?
    7. Do you still feel passionate about your work?
    8. Did you ever feel pressured to go in another direction?
    9. If you felt a bond was created during the interview ask if you could check in with the person from time to time (Email usually works best).

Always email or write a thank-you note.

Check out the web-site: http//www.roadtripnation.com for some ideas on how you can do your own Road Trip to find your career direction.

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10. What help is available for resume writing?

The Counseling and Advising Center offers workshops on resume writing. SCCC students and recent alumni can also send a Word document (.doc) to skuran@sussex.edu and Stephanie Kuran will review it as her schedule allows.

Never written a resume? The Counseling and Advising Center offers a beginners booklet. Come to the Counseling and Advising Center for a copy.

Websites:

SCCC students can use access.bridges.com (ID and password given to students by visiting The Counseling and Advising Center).

    http://www.susanireland.com/
    http://jobsearch.about.com/od/sampleresumes/Sample_Resumes.htm
    http://www.clickinks.com/A-Guide-to-Writing-A-Strong-Resume.html

Websites by Major

 Alphabetical listing of helpful web links related to SCCC’s academic programs and degrees.