Step One: Choose a Career Focus and Commit

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Step One: Choose a Career Focus and Commit

The activities and steps you have completed during Stage 1: Discover have hopefully provided insight into your personality, preferences and values, as well as general information about career options that might be a good fit.

Now, this portion of the resource guide will help you decide on a career focus, and set goals for getting there. Do you want to:

  • Increase productivity within your current position?
  • Advance to a new position within your current department or career?
  • Plan for a career change?

Whether you decide to focus on your current position or on a career change, you will also set goals to help you progress in your chosen career areas.

Identify Your Career Interests

Selecting a career focus and committing to this decision is a critical stage in your career management process. Identifying appropriate career areas that fit you will allow you to be the most successful in setting and achieving goals, in addition to increasing your professional and personal satisfaction with your career decisions.

Table of Career Focus Considerations

As you identify your career areas of interest, look for common denominators that connect them. Capitalize on your transferable, adaptive, and job related skills. Click the image to see a handy reference table of these skills.


This is the time to review all of your career assessment results and research findings to determine 1) what job functions you really want to do, and 2) in what career areas or industries you really want to do them. Don’t rush through this step!

Exercise 2.1 – Identifying My Career Interests


Complete the Identifying My Career Interests activity, below. It will provide you with a framework of what you should be focusing on when you enter Stage 3: Taking Action.

Exercise 2.1 – Identifying My Career Interests (PDF)

Once you have identified your career interests and narrowed down your options, you can commit to a specific area, or areas, of focus.

The next step, Setting Goals, will help you stay focused on your chosen career interests and be efficient and effective in your current and future pursuits.

Continue: Step Two: Set Goals