“I’ll Do Anything!”

Too often I hear students express, “I’ll do anything,” when speaking about future employment. This phrase is usually code for, “I haven’t figured out what I really want to do.” While doing “anything” might seem like you are keeping your options open, not having a focus or a couple of distinct interests, usually means you won’t recognize your best fit job options when you do encounter them.

With so many commitments competing for your attention, making time to fully assess your strengths, skills, values, and work fit personality is often a good intention, with few people actually reserving time for reflection and self-assessment. Time spent now will allow you to be strategic later, in terms of structuring your job search to target options where your strengths, skills, values, and work-fit personality intersect. Think about it ── you can’t organize a job search to look for “I’ll do anything careers,” but you can craft a job search to uncover opportunities and people with whom to network in a specific career field.

There are many tools and resources to help you conduct your self-assessment at any age and stage of your education. Different tools yield different insights and ultimately you will want to decode the results with someone who is trained to do so. Share your results with a career consultant at the Center for Career Development and gain further recommendations about tools and resources to help you to focus your exploration and job search. The more you know now, the more strategic you can be later.

By Kay Kimball Gruder
Kay Kimball Gruder Assistant Director of Graduate Student Career Programs and Services Kay Kimball Gruder