Your Virtual Counselor! Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action!
The California Career Center. Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action!

Career Action Plan

 

Explore Occupations I

Use the California CareerZone to explore your interests and identify occupations that match your interests.

Step 1. Setup your CareerZone student account

  1. Go to the California CareerZone
  2. Select “Your Career Hub”.
  3. Select “Get Started”.
  4. Select “Create an Account” and fill in the information:
    • Username
    • Password
    • Which describes you best? (select student)
    • Zip code (of your school)
    • Select “Next”
  5. Fill in the “Tell us a bit about yourself” section:
    • First and last names are optional. You can leave them blank.
    • Email address is also optional. But if you ever need help remembering your sign in information, your account has to have an email address with it.
    • Fill in your school name.
    • Select the year you plan to graduate.
    • Select the “Register” button.

You are now signed in to your account.

Step 2. Discover occupations that match your interests

  1. Return to the homepage.
  2. Select “Discover Possibilities”.
  3. Select “Interest Profiler”.
  4. Select “Start a new Interest Profiler”.
  5. Under “Interest Profiler Options”, select a version.
  6. Read the instructions.
  7. Answer the questions.
  8. Select the “Summarize” button and read the summary of your interests.
  9. Select the “View Occupations” button to see a list of occupations that match your interests.

Step 3. Choose occupations to explore

  1. From this list of occupations, select a couple to explore.
    • Read the occupational profile starting with “Preparation”, “Average Salary”, and “Annual Openings”, and "Preparation". Then read “About the Job”, “What They Do”, “Things They Need to Know”, and “Things They Need to Be Able to Do”.
  2. If you like the occupation after reading its profile, give it a thumbs up to save it in your account.
  3. Go back to your results list and select other occupations that look interesting to you. Give those a thumbs up, too.

Step 4. Record your results

  1. Choose at least three occupations from the ones you just saved.
  2. Come back to this page and write those occupations in the following textbox.

Resource you’ll use to complete this section:

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of this page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions 

 

Explore Occupations II

So far you’ve:

  • Identified occupations that match your interests

Now use the California CareerZone to create a lifestyle you want have in the future. Then view occupations that support your chosen lifestyle.

Step 1. Create your budget

  1. Go to the California CareerZone
  2. Select “Your Career Hub”. Select “Get Started”. Sign in to your account.
  3. Return to the homepage and select “Discover Possibilities”.
  4. Select “Make Money Choices”.
  5. Select "Budget how much money you’ll need”.
  6. Select a county you think you want to live in.
  7. Start building your budget with “Housing Costs”.
  8. To continue, select the “Next Section” button.
  9. Select the “Show Summary” button after making all your choices.
  10. Add any other expenses you can think of (for example, you may have a gym membership).
  11. Select the “Show Summary” button again. Read through your monthly spending summary to see you how much money you need to make to support the lifestyle choices you made.

Step 2. Choose occupations that meet your budget

  1. Go to the bottom of your Budget Summary page and select “View Occupations”. The occupations on this list have salaries that meet the budget you created.
  2. Click on an occupation that looks interesting to you.
  3. Read the occupation’s profile.
    • At the top is the “Average Salary”, “Annual Openings”, and “Preparation”.
    • Further down the page, is “About the Job,” “What They Do”, “Things They Need to Know”, and “Things they Need to Be Able to Do”.
  4. If you like the occupation after reading its profile, give it a thumbs up to save it in your account.
  5. Then go back to your occupations list and select others that look interesting to you. Give the ones you like a thumbs up.

Step 3. Record your results

  1. Choose at least three occupations from the ones you saved.
  2. Come back to this page and write those occupations in the following textbox.

Resource you’ll use to complete this section:

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of the page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions 


  

Occupation to Research

So far you’ve:

  • Identified occupations that match your interests
  • Identified occupations that support the future lifestyle you want

Now use your results to choose an occupation to research.

Step 1. Choose an occupation from Explore Occupations I and II

Choose one occupation to research from the occupations you listed in your Explore Occupations I and II sections.

Write the occupation’s title in the following textbox.

Step 2. Review your saved occupations (optional)

If you don’t want to research the occupations you wrote down earlier, go back to the California CareerZone and look for other occupations.

Sign in to your CareerZone account

  1. Go to the California CareerZone and select “Your Career Hub”.
  2. Sign in to your account.
  3. Look at your “Recently Liked Items”.
  4. Select “View All Ratings”.
  5. On the Bookmarks and Ratings page, unselect all the options in the filter. Then select “Show Occupations”. Then select the “Filter” button.  

Review the profiles of your saved occupations and select one to research. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you choose:

  • Read each occupation’s “What They Do” section. Are there things on this list you won’t like doing?
    • If the occupation has a lot of things you won’t like doing, you may not want to research it.
  • Read each occupation’s average salary. Is the salary enough to support the lifestyle you want?
    • If the occupation’s salary isn’t enough, you may not want to research it.
      • If you’re not sure the salary is enough,
      • Look at the occupations in your “Explore Occupations II” section - those occupations are based on your budget.
      • You can also go back to CareerZone’s “Make Money Choices”, make some changes to your budget and create a new list of occupations.
  • Read each occupation's education and training requirements. Are there requirements you don’t want to meet?
    • If you don’t want to meet any of the occupation's requirements, you may not want to research it.

Write the title of your occupation in the following textbox.

Remember, this is just your initial choice and you may research several occupations before you decide which one to pursue.

Resource you’ll use to complete this section:

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of this page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions 


Degree and/or Certification Required

So far you’ve:

  • Identified occupations that match your interests
  • Identified occupations that support the future lifestyle you want
  • Identified an occupation to research

Your first research task is to find the requirements you'd have to meet to enter your occupation. For example:

  • Is a high school diploma enough?
  • Do you need a certificate and/or state license?
  • Do you need a two or four year college degree?
  • Is on the job training enough?

Step 1. Find your occupation’s Degree and/or Certification Requirements

  1. Go to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  2. Type your occupation’s title into the “Search Handbook” box. (The search box is on the same line as the Occupational Outlook Handbook title.)
  3. Select “Go” to see your search results.
  4. Scroll through the results list and look for your occupation. When you find it, click on the occupation’s title to see its profile.
  5. Select the “How to Become One” tab on the profile page.
  6. Read through the “How to Become One” sections:
    • Education
    • Training
    • Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
    • Work Experience in a Related Occupation
    • Important Qualities

Step 2. Record your results

Come back to this page and write your occupation’s requirements in the following textbox.

Resource you’ll use to complete this section:

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of this page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions 

 

Education and/or Training Programs

So far you’ve identified:

  • Occupations that match your interests
  • Occupations that support the future lifestyle you want
  • An occupation to research
  • Your occupation’s degree and/or certification requirements

Now look for programs that can help you meet your occupation’s requirements.

Step 1. Use your California CareerZone account

  1. Go to the California CareerZone and select “Your Career Hub”.
  2. Sign in to your account.

Step 2. Find programs

  • Look at your “Recently Liked Items”.
  • Select the occupation you chose to research.
    • If your occupation is not in your list, use the search box to find it.
  • On your occupation’s profile page, look at “Your Opportunities”.
  • Select "Education & Training".
  • Select a program you like and read “About This Program”.
  • If you like it, select “Find Colleges”.
  • Go back to the “About This Program” page and in the “Similar Majors” section, select two majors. Then find two schools that offer each major.
  • Review the list of schools and give a thumbs up to at least three schools with programs you like.
    • In selecting a school, a few things to think about are the school’s location, admission requirements, tuition, fees, and housing.

Come back to this page and write the schools and majors you like in the following textbox.

Resource you’ll use to complete this section:

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of this page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions 

 

Related Experiences

So far you’ve identified:

  • Occupations that match your interests
  • Occupations that support the future lifestyle you want
  • An occupation to research
  • Your occupation’s degree and/or certification requirements
  • Majors and schools that can help you meet those requirements

Now list things you’ve already done that help prepare you for your occupation. For example:

  1. If you’re interested in a health-related occupation, you may have already earned a CPR certificate.
  2. If you’re interested in a video-related occupation, you may have already taken video design classes.

Step 1. Courses completed

List any courses you’ve completed related to your occupation. Include the course title, instructor’s name, and date completed. Courses can be taken in high school, community college, or online. Write your courses in the following textbox.

Step 2. Extracurricular activities

Extracurricular means activities you’ve done outside of class. For example:

  • Internships, part-time jobs, volunteering (anywhere, not just at school), community clubs, sports, music, etc.
  • List your extracurricular activities in the following textbox. Name the activity, when you participated in it, and contact information.

Step 3. Awards earned

Awards can be from anywhere, not just from school. For example:

  • Clubs, sports, service organizations, student organizations, volunteer, etc.
  • Write your awards in the following textbox. Include the name of the award and when you received it.

Step 4. Certifications earned

List any certifications you’ve earned. For example:

  • First Aid, CPR, Lifeguard, Career Technical Education Pathway, ServSafe etc.

Write your certifications in the following textbox. Include the title and when you received it.

Resources you can use to complete this section

  • Award certificates
  • Your report cards and portfolios
  • Recognition certificates
  • Scholarships awarded
  • Your parents and/or guidance counselor

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of this page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions 

List things you've done in the past that prepare you for this occupation.

  •  

  •  

  •  

  •  

Future Experiences

So far you’ve identified:

  • Occupations that match your interests
  • Occupations that support the future lifestyle you want
  • An occupation to research
  • Your occupation’s degree and/or certification requirements
  • Majors and schools that can help you meet those requirements
  • Things you’ve already done that help prepare you for your occupation

Now identify things you can plan to do to help prepare you for your occupation.

Step 1. Sign in to your California CareerZone account

  1. Go to the California CareerZone and select “Your Career Hub”.
  2. Sign in to your account.

Step 2. Use your occupation’s profile

  1. Open your occupation’s profile.
  2. Review the “Things They Need to Know” and “Things They Need to be Able to Do” sections.
  3. From those sections, select some skills you want to gain or information you want to learn. Then think about things you can do to build those skills and learn that information. For example:
    •  if your occupation requires knowledge about print layout design, things you can do to learn that knowledge can include:
      • Work part-time for a news organization
      • Intern with a graphic artist
      • Volunteer on the school newspaper and/or yearbook
      • Take a computer-aided design class
  4. Come back to this page and write your ideas in the following textboxes.

Step 3. Talk to people

Another way to get ideas for creating experiences you want to have to prepare for your occupation is by talking to people who work in the occupation you’re researching.

  1. Ask family members, friends, teachers, and school counselors if they can refer you to someone working in the occupation you’re researching.

Step 4. Watch career videos

You can find ideas for things you can do in the future to prepare for your occupation by watching career-related videos.

  • Come back the California Career Center.
  • Select “Videos” in the top navigation bar.
  • Scroll through the list of video libraries and select a couple to browse through.
  • Watch videos about your occupation to get ideas about things you can do to prepare for the occupation.

Come back to this page and write your ideas in the following textboxes.

Resources you’ll use to complete this section:

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of this page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions 

Identify things you can do in the future to prepare for your occupation.

  •  

  •  

  •  

Supporters

So far you’ve identified:

  • Occupations that match your interests
  • Occupations that support the future lifestyle you want
  • An occupation to research
  • Your occupation’s degree and/or certification requirements
  • Programs and schools that can help you meet those requirements
  • Things you’ve already done that help prepare you for your occupation
  • Things you can do in the future to help prepare you for your occupation

Now identify people who can help you on your career journey; people who can help you with things like:

  • Creating your Career Action Plan
  • Introducing you to industry professionals
  • Writing reference letters
  • Creating resumes
  • Completing job applications
  • Doing other things that help you reach your goal

Step 1. People who can help you

Write down people you think can help you:

  • Names of at least two people who can help you.
  • Explain how they can help you.
  • Explain your relationship to them.

For example: Mrs. Smith can help me with resumes and job apps, etc. She is my English teacher.

Step 2. Organizations that can help you

Identify organizations that can help you. Start by looking at local service organizations and professional associations. Ask your friends and relatives for ideas.

Choose at least two organizations that you think can help you reach your occupational goal. Include the name of the organization and contact information for someone working there: name, address, telephone number, and email address.

Go to the CareerOneStop Professional Association Finder to find professional associations for the occupation you're researching.

Step 3. Record your results

Write down the people and organizations you think can help you.

Resources you’ll use to complete this section

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of this page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions 

 

 

Action Steps

Action Steps

So far you’ve identified:

  • Occupations that match your interests
  • Occupations that support the future lifestyle you want
  • An occupation to research
  • Your occupation’s degree and/or certification requirements
  • Programs and schools that can help you meet those requirements
  • Things you’ve already done that help prepare you for your occupation
  • Things you can do in the future to help prepare you for your occupation
  • People and organizations that can help you along the way

Action Steps are the real, measurable, and attainable steps you’ll take to reach your goal. Action Steps:

  • Explain what you need to do to reach your goal.
  • Explain how you'll do those things to reach your goal.
  • Include the resources and people who can help you complete each step.

Step 1. Write your Action Steps

Describe the steps you can take now to start moving toward your occupational goal.

Each Action Step has four parts:

  1. The objective (is the outcome you want for this step).
  2. The actions you’ll take to get that outcome.
  3. The resources and people you’ll use to get that outcome.
  4. The deadline for achieving that outcome.

You can format your Action Steps however you want.

When you put all your Action Steps together, they become a roadmap for reaching your occupational goals.

Step 2. Record your results

Write your Action Steps in the following textbox.

Resources you can use to create your Action Steps

  • Your graduation plan and your school’s graduation requirements.
    • Use these to identify the steps to take to graduate. Then write down the people and resources that can help you complete each step.
  • Your ideas from your Future Experiences section.
    • Use your ideas to list the steps to take to do the things you want to do in the future to prepare for your occupation.
  • Your CareerZone’s occupation profile sections “Things They Need to Know” and “Things They Need to be able to do”.
    • Use this information to help you identify the steps you can take to prepare for your occupation.
  • A counselor to map out your graduation plan and the steps you can take after graduating from high school.
    • A counselor can help you write each step for transitioning from high school graduation to your next goal.

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of this page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions 

 

Plan B

Plan B

Choose a Plan B alternate occupational goal in case your Plan A goal can’t be immediately pursued, may not work out, or you change your mind.

Your Plan B occupation may be similar to your Plan A occupation or it may be entirely different.

Step 1. Find your Plan B occupation

  1. Go up to your Explore Occupations I and II sections and read the occupations you listed.
  2. If you like one of those occupations, write it in as your Plan B goal.
  3. If you don’t like any of them, go to the California CareerZone and sign in to your student account. Then:
    • Look at your “Recently Liked Items” section.
    • Select “View All Ratings”.
    • On the Bookmarks and Ratings page, unselect all the options in the "Filter". Then select “Show Occupations” and the “Filter” button.  
      • If there is an occupation you like, make it your Plan B goal.
      • If you don’t like any of those occupations, look for something else.
      • To look for new occupations, go back to your assessment results and review the occupational lists from:
        • Interests Profiler
        • Skills Profiler
        • Make Money Choices (Budget)
        • Work Importance Profiler
      • If you don’t like any of those occupations, retake an assessment to see a new list of occupations.
      • Use the strategies from Step 2 in the Occupation to Research section to help you choose an alternate occupational goal.

Step 2. Record your results

Write your Plan B goal in the following textbox.

Resource you’ll use to complete this section:

  • Occupations you identified in Explore Occupations I and II sections
  • Occupations saved in your California CareerZone account.
  • Strategies in the Occupation to Research section
  • Occupation lists from your CareerZone assessments

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of this page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions

 

Resources

Resources

Your Career Action Plan is a dynamic document: it changes as your decisions change. Because it changes, track your resources so you can easily find them again.

Step 1. Identify your resources

Write down the resources you're using.

Start by including these in your list:

Click on the “Save” button at the bottom of this page before you leave your Career Action Plan.

Close Directions