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Wesleyan University

Career Decisions: From Insight to Impact

Wesleyan University via Coursera


I am an adult developmental psychologist by training and a career counselor by trade, currently the Director of the Gordon Career Center at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. In this course, I draw from my decades of experience as well as research from the fields of psychology, organizational behavior, and sociology to help you understand best practices for making career decisions. This content will help you develop the tools you need to make the right choices for you, from deciding an area of study to exploring potential lines of work to pursue—and knowing when to pivot at any time in your career.


  • Your Motivations, Part One
    • This module will introduce you to the course and ask "What is insight? Why is it important? What impact can personal insight have on your academic or professional goals?" We will also look at why people tend to prematurely foreclose on career options due to choice paralysis and occupational stereotypes. The exercises will help reveal how you go about making decisions.
  • Your Motivations, Part 2
    • This week we will explore how cultural norms, such as the American definition of "success", affect how we think about our academic and career choices. We will consider the role of family and friends in our decision making and how personal insight can help us distinguish our personal interests and goals from the expectations others have for us. We will also explore how our personal identities can affect how easily (or not) we navigate change in our lives. The exercises this week will reveal how you personally define success, as well as how your concepts of personal identity may be affecting how you experience change in your life.
  • Your Mindsets
    • What is more important: Passion for what you do or developing marketable skills? Can you get smarter if you work harder? What does academic research tell us about well-being and the role of finding meaning in our work? We will explore all these questions this week, and you will complete exercises that will allow you to consider the skills you have and need to develop as well as take stock of what you devote your time to now and what that reveals about your motivations.
  • Your Map
    • This week we'll use a design thinking framework to learn how to broaden your exploration for possible working identities. You will also implement practical steps for making professional connections and learning more about specific fields of interest. Finally, you will complete a capstone project that pulls together all the concepts from the course and help you make your case for how you can make an impact on the world.

Taught by

Sharon Belden Castonguay


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 374 ratings

Start your review of Career Decisions: From Insight to Impact

  • Profile image for Tim Hards
    Tim Hards
    I found this course interesting and well presented. The material methodically took me through important aspects of what I should consider when deciding whether to make a career change or not. The last week brought the earlier ideas together to form real action I could take.

    I recommend this course if you are thinking of changing career, or starting one. Now that I've finished it, I plan to retake it again soon and be more active this time in considering the items discussed.

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