Reflection as Part of Career Exploration and Preparation

What is reflection? Reflection is an essential part of the process of career exploration. Reflection is just as important as the more outward-facing activities that we typically think of as part of career exploration and preparing for your career path. Without reflection, you may lose sight of your values, spend energy pursuing a path that isn't right for you, or feel unsettled about your decisions.

From time to time, we encourage you to take a step back from your career exploration, panel attending, informational interviewing, job simulations, and goal setting and set aside some dedicated time to reflect.

No matter where you are on the path to your next career, and no matter what that career path is, reflection is a useful tool.

Career exploration

Reflection is a critical part of the career exploration process. It helps you take stock of what you have learned and experienced, return to your own values, interests, and skills, and refocus your plan for moving forward.

Preparing for your next position

Reflection can help keep you assess whether your efforts have been effective in getting you to your goals. If they have, reflection can help you develop the confidence you need to move into the job market. If they haven't, reflection can help you recognize what gaps still exist.

On the job market

Reflection can help you figure out which places feel like good fits and which don't. It can also help you figure out what your decision-making strategy will be for the quick-turnaround decisions you may have to make about your job offers.


Below we offer some reflection guides

You can use them whether you are reflecting alone or with a buddy, and whether you are at the beginning of career exploration, have already explored at least one career path, or have already tried some job simulation exercises.

Upcoming Events


OCPD Office Hours (for Graduate Students and Postdocs)

Date: July 24, 2024
Time: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

OCPD Office Hours (for Graduate Students and Postdocs)

Date: July 31, 2024
Time: 4 - 5 p.m.

OCPD Office Hours (for Graduate Students and Postdocs)

Date: August 5, 2024
Time: 2 - 3 p.m.

Career and Professional Development Writing Retreat

Date: August 7, 2024
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.