Spring Break is right around the corner! If your plans include seeing your family, chances are they’ll ask what you plan to do after graduation. When you’re not quite sure or are still weighing options, this can be a stressful question to answer.

Taking time to explore is actually a really smart approach to planning your future! Consider the following strategies for helping family see the value of active career exploration:

1. Explain the value of self-assessment: Knowing your values, interests, and personality will help you evaluate your fit with potential career paths (as well as sell yourself to potential employers down the road). Share the results of your career assessments with your family. Haven’t taken one yet? You can access several assessments via FOCUS2 online to get you started!

2. Explore together: Log on to the ASK Network and browse the platform with your family. As you read the career profiles of our volunteer alumni mentors, discuss what seems interesting and not so interesting about the paths they’ve taken. Make a plan to follow up with the mentors that intrigue you the most.

3. Ask about their exploration: Have an impromptu informational interview by asking friends and family to share their own career path. How did they end up where they are and what other options did they consider or try along the way?

4. Shift the conversation to skills: Family may be surprised to learn that 9 of the top 10 attributes sought by employers are transferable skills like communication, problem solving, and the ability to work as part of a team. These are things that are woven throughout the undergraduate experience regardless of your major. By building these skills you’re preparing yourself for success across industries.

5. Let them see your progress: Sometimes your family just wants to know that you’re setting yourself up for success. By letting them know that you’re tapping into the resources here at DePaul, you’ll help them gain insight into your approach to exploration. Tell them about your recent appointment with an exploration advisor. If you haven’t done this yet, make an appointment with us today!

Happy Exploring!

Hilarie Longnecker & Ed Childs
Exploration Career Community Advisors