Exploring Options with FOCUS2

My name is Jaden and I’m a third-year student at UMass Lowell. I’m majoring in English with a concentration in Journalism and Professional Writing.

Currently, I’m an intern for the University’s Career & Co-op Center. The center has tons of great career, internship, and co-op resources for students so I will be blogging about my own experiences using those resources.

I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet after college and I decided to explore FOCUS2. It’s a career assessment program you can use to learn about different career paths and find ones that fit your personality. As an intern, there are still so many career paths I could take. I want to know more about different careers before I decide on a job.

Within FOCUS2 I decided to take the “Work Interest” assessment. It asked me a lot of questions about my interest in certain activities and to rank my interest based on a five-star scale. One star means no interest and five means strong interest. The test itself is quite short. Honestly, some of the questions can feel unusual to answer if you have no experience doing that activity. For example, one of the questions asked me, “To what degree would you enjoy working in a national park to preserve its forests, wildlife, and natural features?” I have no experience doing any environmental work and it wasn’t a job I ever considered before so I had to really imagine what those responsibilities would be like.

After I finished the questionnaire, it told me my top work interest areas. There are five areas in total: enterprising, conventional, artistic, investigative, social, and realistic. My top three areas were enterprising, conventional, and artistic. “Conventional” work is predictable, detailed, and organized. I was surprised that conventional ranked higher than artistic because I am in a creative major, but I guess it has to do with my preference for orderly, systematic work.

I also got matched with different careers. When I clicked on a job title, it showed me a more detailed description of what that job entailed. I really liked reading the descriptions because they gave me an idea of the day to day responsibilities. Three career areas that came up for me were Management, Sales & Related, and Arts, Entertainment, Sports, & Media. I was not surprised that artistic jobs were mentioned because of my English major, but I was more surprised at how many of the jobs in management and sales related to arts and entertainment. One of my top careers was “Administrative Service Manager.” Even though most of this job was about managing company operations, staff, and products, it also included writing professional documents and letters. I was very surprised about this because I did not realize how much writing impacts the daily operations of a business.