Help plan your career with Focus 2

Monday, April 11, 2016
8

By Shanaya Day

DCCC counselors Bonnie Yake and Susan Alexander hosted the “Career Decision Making 101: Using Focus 2” workshop on March 24. About 15 students attended.

Focus 2 is an online interactive, self- guided career and educational planning system. The counselors explained that Focus 2 can be used in different ways throughout all stages of students’ career planning, according to their own personal needs.

The system allows first-time users to understand the career planning process while bringing self-awareness at the same

timeTh.    ere are five different exercises in the Focus 2 system. Yake and Alexander took turns explaining each exercise.

Career Readiness

According to Yake, users will be able to self-reflect on their career and educational goals. They will also be able to identify their academic strengths, work experiences and accomplishments, plan their careers, and map their personal development needs.

“Focus 2 will ask you simple questions about your plans and goals,” Yake said. “If you come across a question you don’t know how to answer, don’t agonize over it.”

Self-Assessment

Alexander said this exercise is important because this is where users will learn about themselves.

“After taking the self-assessments, users will be directed to a career path,” Alexander said. “Students will be able to choose an occupation based on skills, interests, personality types, and most importantly, values.”

The five self-assessments are on work interests, personalities, skills, values, and leisure interests. This is one of Yake’s favorite features about the system, she said.

Explore the Possibilities

This exercise allows users to research different careers by major, industry, and occupation. It also allows student to

compare occupations side by side, another feature Yake said was essential.

Create an Action Plan

In this exercise, users will build a plan to achieve their objectives from the previous exercises. When the plan is complete, Alexander urges students to print it and take it to the Career & Counseling Center to discuss it with counselors who can assist students in searching for jobs and internships, writing resumes, and

more.

Tying it All Together

Here, a portfolio is created from the users’ saved occupations and assessments. This feature is Alexander’s favorite because of the convenience of having all of the

results in one place, she said. While some attended solely for extra

credit points, other students, such as Daphne Brooks and Katie Lickfied, wanted to learn more about Focus 2 and how they could benefit from it.

Brooks, a general studies major, has a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health but is switching her career to nursing. She plans on using Focus 2 as a resource to help her find an occupation in that field and accomplish her career goals. Lickfield, a graphic design major, said she hopes Focus 2 will assist her in obtaining an associate’s degree so she can eventually work towards a bachelor’s degree.

“I expect Focus 2 to help me realize my skills and where I need to improve so I can progress,” Lickfield said.

Both counselors admitted that the process can be a bit time consuming. They advise students not to think too deeply into the assessment questions and to just answer them the best they can.

Focus 2 can be accessed from the delaGATE Portal. First-time users can log on, go to the Student Services tab, look for the “College Survival” section on the right side of the page, and click on Focus 2. The access code for DCCC students is Pegasus.

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