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Step 2: Researching Career Options

Career Toolbox

Researching Career Options is the second step in the TSA Career Planning Process. Once you are clear about the interests, skills and values that are important to you (Step 1), you will want to learn as much as possible about careers that are compatible with your unique interests and capabilities.

Note: If your current position is a good match with your interests, skills, values, and career aspirations, you may decide to skim over or skip this step and go on to Step 3: Closing the Gap. In Step 3, you will find tips and tools to help you decide on developmental objectives and activities to increase the contribution you can make to meet TSA's Mission and Goals (pdf, 299Kb) and make your current job even more enjoyable.

This section contains links to several ways to explore careers. Start with the links that seem most appropriate to your career needs. As you learn about occupations, make notes on the education, work experience and specific competencies that are beneficial and/or required. Don't be discouraged if you don't find a career of interest right away. Knowing what you don't want to do is an important step in narrowing the field down to appropriate career choices.

Here are some suggestions on where you might want to start your research.

  • Talk with a TSA Career Coach. Once a career coach is familiar with your background, interests, skills and values, he or she will be able to offer some suggestions on where to start your career research.
  • Read TSA Career Path Information to learn about the duties and competencies associated with many airport occupations.
  • Use SOAR, on online resource designed to assist the TSO workforce in planning their federal careers. SOAR contains brief descriptions of TSA positions and positions at other DHS components that may be of interest to TSOs.
  • Investigate nationwide career information in the Department of Labor's Careers and Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  • Want even more career planning and job search information? Visit the TSA Career Coaching Website for annotated links to the most comprehensive sites on the web.

When you have completed your career research you are ready for Step 3: Closing the GAP, where you will find information to help you identify competencies (skills areas) to be strengthened, specific desired outcomes and appropriate developmental activities, or you can return to the TSA Career Planning Guide Table of Contents.

Latest revision: 29 November 2012