Once you are clear about what career areas you are interested in and want to explore, you will want to look at other factors affecting your life that could impact your ability to be successful. Realize that everyone has individual circumstances that will affect their job search process. For example, you may have children, a learning disability, or a working significant other – all of these will impact your timing or career choice.

Your view of your job opportunities is affected by your landscape – what you need to consider when making a career decision. If you understand your landscape prior to starting your search, you will not waste time with opportunities that will not work due to your life circumstances. Conversely, you will not rule out opportunities that may be a good choice for you.

Consider the following questions:

1. Geography

Can you move locations to take a new job opportunity? If not, why not? Are you sure? Is the location of where you work critical to your happiness? If you could work anywhere, where would you prefer to work?

-- East Coast, West Coast, Middle America, a specific state or city, international
-- Large city, small town, rural, work from home

2. Income

How much income do you really need to make? Are you the sole support of your family? Do you need benefits? Do you have your retirement established and funded? Are you willing to downsize your lifestyle for a job that is more satisfying?

3. Impact

Who else in your life will your career decision impact?

-- Significant Other (potentially with an established career)
-- Children at home or will need college or other ongoing expenses
-- Parents that need assistance now or in the future
-- Pets

4. Control/Autonomy

Do you need to be making the decisions at work? Do you want to work in a team?

5. Other

Do you need a nice office? Does the company need to be environmentally aware?

It is critical to determine what drives you to succeed.

Ultimately, in order to feel successful in your choices, you need to be in the driver seat for your career decisions. Now is the time to pause in life and determine how you arrived at this place/space in time. You need to look at why you made key choices in life. Some choices were determined for you, others you chose, and some happened by chance.

Now is a good time to examine your regrets in life and understand what prevented you from accomplishing what you wanted. You don’t want to repeat past patterns if they did not lead you to success.

You may want to consider:

  • Why did you choose Bucknell? Your major? Your first job? Second job? Where you live now?
  • If money were not an issue, what would you want to do?
  • What work that you have done in the past has been the most satisfying? Why?
  • Are there skills you feel you need to move forward in your career? How are you able to gain these skills?
  • What is your ideal job? Why aren’t you moving toward that job?
  • What work that you have done in the past has been the most satisfying? Why?

Once you answer the questions above, you will have a clearer picture of what may affect your career choice. You may have two or three areas that you want to research to determine if they fit into the vision you have. If you would like to discuss these questions further or if you are unable to articulate a vision, contact Alumni Career Services at acs@bucknell.edu and speak with the Program Director about your choices.

 

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