Whether you’re transitioning from military service into a civilian job for the first time or pivoting into a new direction, a successful job search first begins with thorough career exploration.  Even if you are remaining in the same field, the process of career exploration connects who you are as a person with meaningful career options that align now with your values, interests, personality, skills, strengths and motivations. 

The WPAOG Career Services team offers the below resources to assist you through the career exploration process and in understanding who you are, where you’re going and how you’ll get there.

  1. Discover or Validate Your Interests
    • Your previous military and civilian experiences will provide much for you to draw upon as you reflect on your achievements, goals, interests, skills and strengths.  A self-assessment, however, can further enhance your career exploration journey by allowing you to uncover other traits and skills not previously employed that may be relevant to your new job search.  Meet with a member of our team to discuss if any of the following are suitable for you.
    • Complete the KF4D Assessment in Korn Ferry Advance, which provides insights on your personality traits (Premium service)
    • Consider other online assessments tools to discover themes across their results about you.
    • Define and learn how to communicate your Personal Brand using this worksheet.
  2. Explore your Options
    • As you begin to gain clarity on your interests and preferences, you may begin exploring what career clusters and job families benefit from and align with your transferable skill set, including West Point and other academic experiences.  Below are a few of the most popular online resources for researching career pathways across all industries.
    • What Can I Do With This Major – Discover various career paths based on your major at West Point or other schools
    • My Next Move – Search for various career paths based on your skill set, industry or personal interests
    • O*Net Online – Browse the nation’s primary source of occupational information
    • Career Onestop – Flagship career, training and job search website for the U.S. Department of Labor
    • Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Department of Labor outlook for hundreds of occupations
  3. Connect & Talk to People
    • With a firmer grasp on your preferences and career options, now is the time to take your career exploration offline and grow your network to communicate your brand and your interests.  Your connections may serve a critical dual purpose of providing you valuable insight not found publicly online about relevant jobs, internships and industries as well as advocating on your behalf to your target employers.  WPAOG Career Services encourages grads to leverage the below resources and experiences to discover and network with relevant professionals in your target industries and cities.
    • Download GradLink: a social and professional networking app exclusively for West Point graduates
    • Request a Grad Mentor from WPAOG Career Services based on industry or geographic interest (Premium service)
    • Utilize LinkedIn to research and meet with relevant grads and professionals
    • Learn about careers of interest through Informational Interviews and Job Shadowing
    • Join a Professional Association and gain knowledge from practitioners or up-and-comers in your field(s) of interest
    • Network with Employers through career fairs, networking events or through site visits arranged by affinity groups or your local business organizations (such as chambers of commerce and economic development corporations) to learn about their expectations of candidate
    • Build new connections and relevant career-related experience by getting involved with other professionals in volunteer or leadership opportunities outside of work