Career Exploration & Milestones

Career Exploration is simply learning about various occupations and their “fit” with your unique career preferences (the skills, interests and values you want satisfied by your career). This is typically done through self-assessment(s) and occurs continuously throughout your career. 

Finding your path is a personal, reflective journey. While we can guide you to the right location, you need to choose for yourself what you want to do. It’s important to spend time reflecting on past experiences. Take into account how your interests, skills and personality align with potential career paths.

“Ever more today people have the means to live but not the meaning to live for.”

Albert Einstein

There’s many ways to think about your path and the meaning for which you want to live for. Here are a few suggestions to guide you:

  • What does the world need?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do you love?

At the intersection of these three questions, you can find your purpose.

If you need help answering these questions, look at the assessment and resources section on this page for next steps.

Image Courtesy of Primal Health Coach

The Career Milestone Tracker was created to allow students to individually track and record their career development journey throughout their time at Merrimack. You will need to Create a Copy of this file in order to begin using it on your own in Google Drive.

The tabs within this file provide you with different components of the career development journey. We recommend using either the One Page View or the remaining tabs to update and record your progress. The One Page View includes all of the information from the remaining tabs.

Once you Create a Copy, this file is yours. Feel free to add other information you’d like to keep track of or modify existing content. If you have questions about the resources provided within this file, please reach out to the O’Brien Center for Career Development or schedule an appointment with your career advisor.

Always be networking! Networking should be a large part of your career exploration strategy. Informational interviews are one way to keep exploring.

Informational Interviews are a meeting to learn about the real-life experience of someone working in a field or company that interests you. You can learn about the workplace culture, daily routines, duties and responsibilities and work/life balance in the field or company that you are interested in. 

Use the tips below to help you to organize and prepare for your mock or informational interviews. 

  • Create a list of people in your network; career professionals, alumni, past and current teachers/professors or anyone you’re interested in having a career conversation with.
  • Identify the top priority people to reach out to and send them an invitation to connect with you.
  • Ensure you agree on a date, time and whether you’ll meet in person or over phone/video call.
  • Be prepared by coming up with questions you want to ask them.
  • Be on time and thank them for their time.

Sample Questions

  • How did you decide on this industry and career path? What helped lead you to that decision? 
  • What was your major in college? How did it help prepare you to enter this field? 
  • What do you find to be the most and least rewarding part of your work? 
  • Tell me more about your previous positions and your career path, did each position lead to the next? 
  • What other related careers and industries did you explore when you were my age? Any you would recommend I pursue? 
  • Could you describe your duties and responsibilities? 
  • What is the average starting salary in this field? 
  • Who else should I connect with as I look to get started in this field?

Merrimack College has made the following resources available for students: