Begin Charting Your Path

an image of a path

​​The start of your career journey is an exciting time full of opportunities and different paths leading you to your dream job. With this journey comes decisions that must be made on navigating your career path. Here is a visualization of a path into the professional career journey and following the steps to becoming successful in whatever you desire to do. This guide provides a great resource to learn about different careers in conservation and how you can make a difference in our environment. Take some time to self evaluate and consider your personal interests and aspirations while going through this guide. Start to visualize your own career path with your goals and future dreams. Determine your starting point and current situation. Are you a high school student getting ready to embark on the college application process or enter the workforce? Are you already in your undergraduate university and wondering what to major in? What type of experiences have you had and which ones strike your interest the most? These are all important factors to consider before charting your career path.

​​Allow your mind to wander and daydream about potential career paths you envision for yourself. Try to imagine where you wish to work and brainstorm different jobs that you may be interested in. Do you have a specific position in mind? Specific organization? Do your research about different companies and organizations on the job positions they offer. Read through the descriptions and duties and find what roles would best suit you. Consider the requirements and qualifications for those positions. This will create a framework for the rest of your career path on finding the right schools, degree programs, and experiences for you to become the best candidate for the position.

​​Take a look back through this guide and career spotlights to help in this area. Understanding the roles these individuals play in their job really helps narrow down what you would enjoy doing. Use the experiences and advice from others in the field as a model for your career path. The conservation and environmental field is vast and it can be daunting to find the right job for you. It pays off to do the research on different careers and job descriptions to find your dream job. To organize your thoughts and keep a record of positions and opportunities you are interested in, compile a list or document with all the information you need when forging your path.

​​It is also perfectly fine to make adjustments and re-chart different paths if you find yourself stuck or not loving the position you're in or the position you’re seeking. Reflection can be an important step in your career path to guiding revision and focusing on a new path that suits your interests. Recharting may include gaining more experience or getting a degree to become qualified for the job you seek. These adjustments may ignite new opportunities as well.

​​After completing the majority of your career journey, you may have all the experience and qualifications you need to start applying for jobs. This is where all your hard work gets to shine and you get to show companies why you deserve your dream position. Navigate different jobs boards and our places to find opportunities for seeking job openings. Prepare a solid resume and practice your interviewing skills. These are the steps to jump start your future career path into the conservation field!

Where does your path lead? Your conservation career may 
take you into backwoods,  ​​open waters, or boardrooms. 
Photo courtesy of Underwood & Associates.