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Helping students explore careers and find their TRUE NORTH

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MiCareerCompass follows the Michigan Career Development Model and gives educators and students another resource for career development education. Suggested activities are listed for students to prepare for MiCareerQuest and reflect upon the experience. 


Download the MiCareerCompass PDF.

Career Awareness

Career awareness is an essential first step in building students’ understanding of the working world. It shows them options for their futures with the hope that each student will find a career that resonates with them in terms of interests, purpose, and inspiration.

Step One: Self-Awareness
Knowing who you are and understanding your interests, values, skills, and motivations.

  • What do I love to do?

  • What is most important to me (what do I value)?

  • What do I like to do in my free time?

  • What skills and activities come naturally to me and make me feel happy and energized?

  • What are my favorite/least favorite classes?

  • What ideas and topics spark my curiosity?

  • What could I talk about for hours?

  • Create your Education Development Plan (EDP) with your counselor or begin journaling the answers to the above questions.


Step Two: Career Awareness
Learning about opportunities and participating in career awareness events such as:

  • College and career awareness expos i.e., MiCareerQuest, college fairs, etc.

  • Career-specific awareness days i.e., Manufacturing Day, health occupations, construction days, etc.

  • Workplace tours.

Career Exploration


Career exploration activities are intended to ensure a students’ areas of interest are aligned with core academic, technical, and employability skills.

Step One: Internal Exploration and Development

  • Research and identify career interests and activities that align to your academic and personal strengths.

  • Complete career assessments and work values inventory.

  • Develop study and time management skills.

  • Develop soft skills/work ethics i.e., teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking skills, technological literacy, conflict resolution, etc.

  • Create or continue to work on your Education Development Plan (EDP) with your counselor. If you do not have an EDP, begin journaling about your career goals, education, training goals, career options and step-by step plan of action to achieve goals.


Step Two: External Exploration

  • Use search engine tools i.e., Xello [formerly Career Cruising], MI Bright Future, My Next Move, Pathfinder, Naviance, Kuder, Mavin, etc. to begin exploring career options.

  • Meet with your counselor or advisor to plan courses and a career path.

  • Attend career-specific exploration days i.e., Manufacturing Day, health occupations, construction days, etc.

  • Visit Career and Technical Education (CTE) program tours.

  • Attend college information nights and admission representation events.

  • Attend business and industry guest speaker events.

    • Learn about the CTE programs offered at your school.​

    • Job shadow.

    • Volunteer with an area nonprofit agency.

Career Preparation


Students continue to build knowledge about careers, postsecondary, and employment opportunities.

Step One: Internal Preparation

  • Create and continue to update your EDP.

  • If you do not have an EDP, begin journaling about your career goals, education, training goals, career options, and step-by-step plan of action to achieve goals.

  • Develop leadership/character education i.e., study skills, time management, self-advocacy, public speaking, etc.

  • Develop soft skills/work ethics i.e., teamwork skills, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, technological literacy, conflict resolution.


Step Two: External Preparation

  • Attend a field trip to a community college/university for postsecondary exploration.

  • Visit, explore a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.

  • Participate in employability preparation workshops i.e., resume writing, mock interviews, leadership training, soft skills, etc.

  • Interact with business partners and professionals for an extended period.

  • Participate in entrepreneurial projects in the classroom and with business partnerships.

  • Engage in formal mentoring with individuals in local the business/industry you are interested in.​

  • Have local employers visit students to discuss top employability.

Advanced Training and Employment


Students final review and updates to the talent portfolio to meet the student’s current career and educational goals/interests.

  • Modify the talent portfolio based on the information from the EDP.

  • Update the talent portfolio with certifications, documentation of key competencies, or accomplishments i.e., Red Cross CPR, Science Olympiad award, industry license/certification, digital badges, etc.

  • Refine talent portfolio to include professional weblinks and social media platforms.

  • Present the talent portfolio to class, teacher, and business professionals.

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