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This workshop guides participants through identifying values, skills, and inspirations to help them focus their career exploration and job search strategies—a “career compass”. The workshop is designed to provide a supportive space to help participants deepen their awareness of what they value most, identify and articulate their transferable skills, and channel their passion for finding meaningful careers. Through interactive individual and group exercises, participants will gain knowledge and communication approaches to clarify career fields, job function, work environment, and lifestyle that reflect their whole person. You may want to implement this model if you seek to introduce a brief foundational workshop that focuses on helping students get to know themselves, or are interested in incorporating this workshop into an already-existing course program. This model is customizable to meet the career exploration needs of early, mid, or advanced stage graduate students and postdoctoral trainees from any discipline.



Single-session, facilitator-led workshop

Could be incorporated into existing course/series


One 90- to 120-minute workshop


Facilitator: at least 1

Learners: 12-15 participants per facilitator is ideal, more are possible as needed or desired


Typical workshop prep



Time in session  (across 120 min)

Minutes 20 40 60 80 100 120
Competency and Featured Approaches
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Personal inspiration

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Assess careers with career compass

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SMART goals




Evidence of Effectiveness

This model is grounded by Donald Super’s career development theory, which posits that one’s unique situational and personal factors influence one’s career decisions. Since 2017, this model has been implemented 12 times across two universities, and has served approximately 150 graduate students and postdocs at a variety of training stages. The program has been refined based on observations and verbal feedback from past participants.

Model Development

This model was developed based on myIDP’s framework by Suprawee Tepsuporn in 2017 to meet the career exploration needs of public health students and postdocs. The model has been refined over the years through participation by students and/or postdocs at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and University of Delaware Graduate College. The content and the structure of the model have also been influenced by the work of Lesah Beckhusen, the creator of SkillScan, and Simon Sinek, David Mead, and Peter Docker, the authors of Find Your Why

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About the Fellow

Suprawee Tepsuporn brings her experience as a scientist in both academia and industry to  her work in career development. She developed the Career Compass workshop and has tailored it for graduate students and postdocs across multiple universities.

Learn more about Suprawee Tepsuporn
Suprawee Tepsuporn

Suprawee Tepsuporn

The pd|hub Collections are being developed with support from an Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH 1 R25 GM139076-01). The information, opinions, data, and statements contained herein are not necessarily those of the U.S. Government or the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and should not be interpreted, acted on, or represented as such.

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Session | Self-assessment to Guide Career Exploration