Explore Career Pathways

The Discovery Process


Whether your customer is just starting to think about careers, or making a career transition to a new or better job, they need to make an informed decision before they make their move. Each customer's discovery process may be a little different, but the basic process is the same.

Basic Process:

  1. Understand their skills and interests.
  2. Learn about career options, including projected job openings for a region, wages, and work conditions.
  3. Determine the training and credentials that are needed to get into that career.

 Illinois workNet has:

  1. Tools and resources that every customer can use for these basic steps.
  2. Articles that dive into the details and provide more guidance based on a customer's specific situation. Articles will continue to be added over time.
    • NOTE: If you have a suggestion for an article or you would like to contribute an article (your original work), send the information to info@illinoisworknet.com.
  3. Videos for those who prefer to or learn better by watching videos.
  4. Related Resources for online resources and tools (in addition to Illinois workNet tools) that have been reviewed and vetted.


 

Take a look at the recommended tools and approaches below.​

Minimal Experience


Two men working in an office.

Employment 101 Guide is a self-guided online approach that includes recommended steps, career exploration tools, articles, videos, and a career plan that can be updated as the discovery process evolves.  This guide and saved results are accessed through your My Dashboard.

  

Recommended Tools and Approach for Your Customer:
  1. Use skill and interest surveys as a starting point to identify career pathways that may be good matches.
  2. Use the Careers, Wages and Trends search tool to learn more and take notes about careers, projected job openings, and the training that is required for each career.
  3. Once you have narrowed down your career options, use the resources, training programs, and/or Illinois workNet JobFinder tools (menu items within the Careers, Wages and Trends search results) to find a person in that field. Set up a phone or in-person interview to learn more about the career, as well as tips for getting into that career.
  4. Use your career research information to prepare questions for your informational interview.
  5. Be professional, friendly, and confident during the interview.
  6. Send a "thank you" card. 
  7. If you are interested in that career or career area, send a request to connect with the employer via social media. Make sure to thank them for taking the time to help you learn more about the career and industry. You have just made a new networking contact! Learn more about Networking For Success.

Work Experience


Female working in a medical supply manufacturing enviroment.Customers with work experience may need to explore careers for a variety of reasons.

Career Advancement: 

Some customers may be interested in advancing within their current career field. They can use
the Careers, Wages and Trends search tool to learn about advancement opportunities and required training and credentials.

Career Change:

Other customers may need to change career fields because they:

  • Have been laid off and their skills are out of date.
  • Are in a career area they dislike.
  • Are moving to a region that does not have a demand for their career area.
Recommended Tools and Approach for Your Customer: 
  1. Use skill and interest surveys as a starting point to identify career pathways that may be a good match.
  2. Use the Skills Assessment that is available within the Resume Builder Tool (requires login). This assessment can help you identify your skills, as well as when and where you developed those skills. It is helpful for recognizing your transferable skills and developing your resume.
  3. Use the Careers, Wages and Trends search tool to learn more and take notes about careers, projected job openings, and training that is required for each career.
  4. Once you have narrowed down your career options, use the resources, training programs, and/or Illinois workNet JobFinder tools (menu items within the Careers, Wages and Trends search results) to find a person in that field. Set up a phone or in-person interview to learn more about the career, as well as tips for getting into that career.
  5. Use your career research information to prepare questions for your informational interview.
  6. Be professional, friendly, and confident during the interview.
  7. Send a "thank you" card.
  8. If you are interested in that career or career area, send a request to connect with the employer via social media. Make sure to thank them for taking time to help you learn more about the career and industry. You have just made a new networking contact! Learn more about Networking For Success.​

Materials


Partner Resources:

  • ​Employment 101 - Career Plan Instructor Guide (PPT)

Handouts/Tools for Customers:

  • Employment 101 Flyer (PDF)
  • Quick Start Guide (PDF)

More Resources in Download & Print Filter results by subject (Explore Careers).