Getting Started

Getting Started

Starting to think about your career is an important and often exciting step in your life journey. This page is for you on ways to conceptualize and start thinking about your career development, reflection, exploration, and taking action. 

SUGGESTIONS: Explore this page as an introduction to defining Career Development and what how it fits into your life

Recommend exploring this page and the various pages of the career center like a  step-by-step guide on how to begin thinking about and exploring your career:

REFLECT on these questions to help YOU gain deeper insights into your career preferences and aspirations.

Be patient, and open and honest to yourself as you reflect on the  following prompting questions toward meaningful career reflection:

  • What led to your decision to attend college?
  • What activities make you lose track of the time?
  • What problems do you want to solve? (a better alternative than “What do you want to be when you grow up?”)
  • What skills and knowledge do you want to learn?
  • When having options of classes (electives), what is your thought process in choosing certain courses over others?
  • What Are Your Role Models or Inspirations? What about their careers or qualities appeals to you?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you aspire to have?
  • What Are Your Short-Term and Long-Term Priorities?
  • What can I do with my time that is important to me?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or 20 years?
  • What does a fulfilling and happy career look like to you personally? How do you measure career satisfaction?

Use this worksheet to collect your responses and ideas to the questions

Collage of Possibilities

Meta Majors at ECC

Meta-majors at ECC are sets of programs designed around seven broad subject areas to let you explore your options while earning credits in courses required for any degree you choose.

Click here to learn more about the Meta-Majors at ECC

ECC Meta-Majors


Here at El Camino College, we have a wide variety of classes to choose from. If you are interested in taking a class to explore your personal, major, and/or career interests, we RECOMMEND review the following document that features courses you could explore from.

Major and Career Exploration Courses at ECC

As soon as you decide on the course of study that’s right for you and your goals, you can move to that degree program with some of your required courses already completed.

Pages of the Career Center

Depending on your career needs, we may suggest you review and explore the various pages of the career services website.

Here is an overview of each page and a link to each.

You can also navigate through the Section Menu tool at the top left-hand side of each Career Services Page

The Knowing Yourself page is commonly referred to students to conduct Self-exploration and reflection and how that relates to their career development.

Self-exploration and reflection are crucial components in the process of career development. Embarking on a career journey is a deeply personal exploration that requires understanding oneself in terms of:

Values and Priorities:

What matters most to you in a career? Is it creativity, financial stability, social impact, or a combination of factors? Knowing your values guides decisions about the types of roles and industries that align with your principles.


Reflecting on your interests, hobbies, and activities helps uncover your passions. When you are passionate about your work, it becomes a source of motivation and fulfillment. Understanding what truly excites you can lead to a career that feels meaningful and rewarding.

Strengths and Challenges:

What are you naturally good at, and where do you face challenges? Recognizing your strengths enables you to leverage them in your career, while understanding weaknesses allows for personal and professional growth. Self-exploration involves acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses.

Reflect about these concepts and consider taking career assessment to define these concepts to yourself on this page


The Explore and Clarify Your Career Pathway page is commonly referred to students for career and major exploration. 

The challenge with career exploration is not a lack of information but the abundance of seemingly inconsistent, often contradictory information about majors and occupations. It is important to keep in mind that majors (at least in the context of pursuing a bachelor's degree) are not designed to lock you into a specific occupation but to open up opportunities.

Use the following worksheet and page link to explore occupations and majors and  make an informed decision regarding your future and educational goals



The Entering Your Career Page is commonly referred to students to take actions beyond individual exploration and reflection - actions such as Resume and Cover Letter writing, Networking, Volunteer work, Internships, Job Searching,  Interviewing, Skill Development and more. 

It is important to note that your career development extends beyond the classroom and you will have to set goals to help yourself stand out in the job market.

Review the following page for more information


Career Advice

Career development is an ongoing process. Self-exploration fosters a mindset of lifelong learning. It encourages you to continually assess your interests and adapt your career goals as you evolve personally and professionally.

Review the following career wheel as a representation of how career can be viewed as a cycle where you are in a constant state of reflection, exploration, and taking action during your career journey


As you review the wheel, take note that each of the sections corresponds to a different section on the Career Center website. You will find resources that can assist you in progressing and learning in each of these areas. 

As you weigh in on what you would like to study in college, consider the kind of degree you are open to pursuing

Roads to Educational Options

 If you are considering only a Associates degree (60 unit degree with major and General Education classes) or certificate (units vary, but with no GE), please review our degrees and certificates in the link to our catalog below

ECC Degrees and Certificates by Division

If you are considering transfer for a bachelor's degree at a University, please visit the Transfer Center page to learn more about transfer

Transfer Center


Guidance through Career Counseling

If you're undecided or unsure about your major, we'll help you make a more informed decision regarding your educational and career goals.

We provide job search guidance, including resume review, interview preparation/mock interviews, and networking tips that will help you throughout your career.

Within our one-on-one appointments, we may discuss the following:

  • Your interests, strengths, values, personality and how it relates to careers and majors
  • Appropriate career and major resources for career research and reflection
  • Job search guidance and strategies
  • Resume review, interview preparation (including mock interviews), and networking skill development
  • NOTE: Career Counseling is NOT focused on picking out classes for

To schedule a career counseling appointment, do one of the following:

Career Center Hours:

Located in the Communications Building, room 206

  • Monday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Tuesday: 9:00am-3:30pm
  • Wednesday: 9:00am-3:30pm
  • Thursday: 9:00am - 3:30pm
  • Friday: Closed