National Career Development Month

November is National Career Development Month. Career development, at its core, is about setting career-related goals and acquiring the skills to achieve those goals.

November career events

Check out this list of career events happing this month. Log into Handshake for details.

Career Services 4-Year career readiness plan

Undergraduate students can use this 4-year plan to get career-ready by graduation. You can start anytime, but it's best to work on your career planning and readiness early and often. Career counselors and advisors at Career Services are ready to work with you! Make an appointment using Handshake

Strategies to move forward with career development

1. Career planning & readiness for career development

Do a Career Assessment

Career assessment is a way to learn more about how well a variety of careers might suit you. Different types of assessments focus on specific areas, such as skills, interests, or values. Typically, an assessment asks you to answer questions about what you like, don't like, what's important to you, and what your strengths are. Career Services offers students Focus 2 as an assessment to explore. Take an assessment and connect with a Career Planning & Readiness Counselor to discuss the results.


Set aside some time to reflect on who you are, where you've been, and what you ultimately want from your working life. Are you happy with the path you are on so far? Are you focusing on the industry that's right for you and the right role? If you are concerned with or confused as to the right choice for you, connect with a Career Planning & Readiness Counselor.

Set short-term goals

Forget about where you see yourself in five years for the moment. Where do you see yourself in one year? What skills might you need to progress toward the job that's right for you? Write down your goals and create a timeline for yourself to achieve them.

Get the skills and training you need

Make sure you are targeting the right classes for success in the industry you desire and explore online training to acquire skills. think about focusing on soft skills, and career competencies like leadership or creative thinking. One smart idea: Work with a Career Planning & Readiness Counselor to achieve a laser-sharp focus on the possibilities of the future.

Keep your network strong

Developing your career network is essential to getting the job you want. Maintaining and nurturing that network is just as important, should you want to get into the career you desire. Networking is key to developing and maintaining a strong career Attend events, such as job fairs or company presentations. Be active on LinkedIn and Handshake. Send short notes to some of your key contacts, and reach out to people with comparable jobs at other companies to take their pulse on industry trends.

Develop a vision and long-term goals

Humans are happiest when working toward goals. A goal gives us something to strive for, the hope of achieving it, and satisfaction when we accomplish it. When you have goals, you'll be less bothered by minor problems because you've got a bigger picture in mind that you're working toward. Vision and goals give you control. Without a vision, you are on your career journey without a map and no way to steer. 10 Questions to Create your Vision.

Whatever you dream of doing, it pays to have a vision for how you'll achieve it — a vision that inspires you and informs your every career move to help drive you toward that goal.

Career Services has many tools, resources, and services to help you move forward with Career Development. Remember to build a foundation - choose a career, improve your skills, and advance along a career path. Connect with a Career Planning & Readiness Counselor to learn more.

2. On-Campus Student Employment as Career Development

A campus student employment opportunity can help with your career development. These positions are available on many college campuses including Wayne State's. A student employee is usually part-time and entails a university student working on campus to gain on-the-job experience. A student employee will carry out administrative and technical tasks requested by a supervisor. Depending on the area the student is employed in, they may assist and mentor other students or provide support throughout the campus in various forms. Many students holding employment on campus are further along in their career development as they have experience in a work environment and have acquired knowledge to help them determine what their job likes and dislikes are. This information helps them plan and develop goals for their next career endeavor.

Wayne State University offers 2 types of on-campus student employment opportunities to help with your career development:

  • Student Assistant Positions

These part-time jobs provide students with the opportunity to develop personal and career-related skills in a collaborative environment. The program fosters a spirit of the campus community through professional interactions between students, supervisors, and fellow co-workers.

  • Federal Work-Study

These part-time jobs are available to students who have received and accepted a work-study award from the Office of Student Financial Aid. The FWS program is designed to help students offset educational expenses. FWS positions are comparable to those of student assistants, in terms of duties, expectations, and professional development.

Find and apply to these opportunities on Handshake.

Looking for an On-Campus Student Employment opportunity? Check out our On-Campus Student Employment webpage or connect with our Student Employment/Federal Work-Study Counselor.

  • Experiential Learning as Career Development

An internship or Co-op job are types of Experiential Learning. These hands-on work experiences in your field of interest allow you to sample what a full-time job in the same field may be like. This knowledge will help you when job hunting in the future, giving you a better understanding of the job you may want – and perhaps more importantly – the types of job you don't want. Taking on an internship helps you learn about the work environment, but it also helps you learn about yourself.

The following list is reasons why to consider an Experiential Learning Opportunity to enhance your career development.

  • Apply what you have learned in your classes
  • Get a feel for what it would be like to work in your desired industry
  • Gain some experience in your field, it will boost your confidence
  • Meet people to build your career network.
  • Learn skills and competencies to build your resume.
  • Potentially get hired on as a full-time employee after the experience.
  • Meet people who can provide you with letters of recommendation or act as a reference when applying for jobs.

Experiential Learning opportunities are basically trial-run jobs helping students decide what they want to do and don't want to do for a career. They provide real-world experience that will guide a future career path and provide critical on-the-job skills like collaboration, independent work, presentation skills, professional development, and networking. The experiences and skills gained are becoming more and more important for students as they look for jobs post-graduation. Once a student gains these experiences, they will have a better understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, skills, competencies, and what they may want to do for their career.

Looking to do an Experiential Learning opportunity? Connect with our Internship and Part-time Employment Counselor.

4. Career Development in a Full-time Job

Whether you are graduating from college or you have been in the workforce for years, a career development plan can be a great tool to advance your career goals. Mapping out your future career helps you reach your career goals and helps you stay motivated and inspired at work, increasing your productivity, and strengthening your relationship with mentors and supervisors.

A career development plan is a personal action plan that you can use to create a roadmap for your career. The typical career development plan example outlines:

  • The starting point: Where you are now in your career
  • The destination: Where you want to go in your career
  • The gap: The obstacles you must overcome to reach the destination
  • The route: How to close the gap to reach your intended destination

Your personalized development plan will help you to identify specific, achievable career goals and then design and implement strategies to reach your goals.

How to create a Career Plan for yourself:

  1. Identify your current position. Ask yourself some questions about this job:
    - What skills and strengths does it take to do this role?
    - What are your likes and dislikes about the position?
    - What motivates you to go to work each day?
    - What are you doing when you feel most motivated at work?
    - What energizes you and what drains you at in this position?
    - Do you like to work in groups, alone, from home, a hybrid role?
    - Do you have a specific calling in life?
  2. Brainstorm where you want to go with your career.
    - What is your dream job if you had no barriers?
    - Where would you like to be in 10 years if you had no barriers?
    - What is your ultimate career goal (and it doesn't have to be the CEO or President of a company. Just knowing what you want to ultimately do is the question).
    - Develop some goals to get there. What can you do to move forward in the next 2 years? What can you do in the next 5-10?
  3. Do a gap analysis.
    - Taking the goals that you outlined as your two-year or five-year career focus, find job listings for the type of job you want. Be sure the descriptions match your skills and experience, and the requirements align with your ultimate ambition.
    - Determine from those jobs, or people who do those jobs, what skills you will need to acquire or be qualified for those positions.
    - Make a list of the skills, education, experience, competencies and qualifications that you need to acquire.
  4. Create your career development plan.
    - Set small goals to acquire the items on your list.
    - Create a timeline to keep yourself on task.
    - Create deadlines for yourself.
  5. Measure your progress and be ready to re-evaluate.
    - Keep track of goals achieved and goals missed.
    - Note milestones that you achieve that move you towards your goal.
    - Update goals accordingly as unexpected occurrences and events arise.

Stay on top of your career development plan, and chances are you will be able to take your full-time career to the next level.