Lucky me! I had a chance to listen to the CCTA webinar: Career Exploration. You can listen to it too, even if you missed it when it first was broadcast on October 19th. A recording of the broadcast and the accompanying slide presentation are posted on its Bio-Link event page. The webinar was presented by Elaine Johnson, PI and Executive Director Bio-Link, and Sandra Porter, President/Founder of Digital World Biology, LLC. The moderator was Michael Lesiecki, Principal, Luka Partners LLC.
The webinar started off with what I think was its most compelling "call to action" slide--"Making a conscious effort to include career exploration". So true--there are so many new and different jobs out there that you cannot rely on your parents' or teachers' experiences, or even information from a year ago because new fields may have just opened up. Having said that--Dr. Johnson went on to give the listeners some ways to accomplish the exploration.
Dr. Johnson suggested 6 steps:
Using resources such as ATE Central
Links to O*Net and others
Guest speakers from industry
I really connected with the third one, Self Discovery. I think it is very important to sit yourself down and see if you can come up with an insightful and honest list of some of the most important aspects of a career to you. And if you are interested in a particular field, great--make sure it has at least some of the aspects you put on the important aspects list. If you don't have a field you are interested in yet, use the aspects list you made to see what field might be a good fit. As it turns out, Self Discovery is the topic of the next CCTA webinar on November 16th so I hope to hear that one too!
On the practical side of things, other important questions are "Where do you want to live?" and Where are the jobs?". Hopefully these two questions have convergent answers! Dr. Porter discussed many ways websites like Biotech-Careers.org can help answer those questions and others. Slide 54 in the webinar presentation (slides posted on the Bio-Link website) has 6 resources that may come in handy: ATEtv-org, ATEcentral.net, Biotech-Careers, CareerOneStop, O*NETonline.org, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics--Occupational Outlook Handbook.
A lot more was covered, but to really learn about career exploration you should check out the webinar--it was a great way to learn more about how to explore the future!