Career exploration activities are used to help you explore your interests—what you like to do—and your aptitudes—abilities that come natural to you. Knowing this information about yourself will help you to select a career that is compatible with who you are. When you make a good career choice, you’re more likely to experience success in your career.
There are different types of career assessments. One type is a Vocational Evaluation. This is a week long evaluation wherein you have the opportunity to explore your interests and abilities through pen and paper inventories and through work samples, which are mock work stations that explore a variety of abilities. For example, one station helps you to evaluate your eye-hand-foot coordination, which is important if you’re interested in becoming an airline pilot.
Another type of career assessment is a Work Experience wherein you have the opportunity to actually try out a job and get paid while doing it! A Work Experience gives you a chance to explore your work quality (how well you do the job) and your work speed (how fast you do a job) on an actual work crew. It also helps you to evaluate your work behaviors. Examples of work behaviors include your ability to get to work on time, how well you get along with others, how well you are able to take instruction from your supervisor, among other things. Work Experiences usually last about one month. During that time, you have the constant support of a coach/supervisor to help you learn skills and improve your performance.
There are also computerized career exploration activities that help you explore your career interests and abilities online. The instruments can be conducted independently.
Your high school guidance teacher or Vocational Rehabilitation counselor can help you decide which career exploration activities are best for you.