Getting Started with Career Planning

The Gorter Family Career Advancement Center, and your entire Forester community, is here to help you at every step of your career journey. Through our proven career preparation model, you will learn how to choose a major, build and activate a professional network, and develop a plan to position yourself for success after college. Discover how to get started below.

Students and career advisors at the CAC open house

Start on a Fast-Track to Success

As a new student, your path starts with our career “First-Year Fast Track,” a program to help you take your first key steps in exploring your interests and getting career-ready.  To get started, all students will attend the CAC's session at New Student Orientation to learn the key tenets of career planning at the College. Next, complete these “to-dos” to complete your “Fast-Track” to get up to speed. Think of them as prep-work, or pre-requisites, that will prepare you for more advanced conversations with your career advisor. You can  learn more on Handshake.

Two Essential Workshops on your Fast-Track:

  1. My First Career Workshop: Check off several items on your tailored first-year  Career Milestones Map, including getting started with CAC online resources like  Handshake, learning about how to engage in your Career Pathway(s), and accessing career exploration resources like  Focus 2 to learn about potential career paths.  Register here.
  2. Resume, LinkedIn, and Effective Use of AI/ChatGPT Workshop: Begin to develop your resume and your LinkedIn presence using our expert tips and resources.  Register here.

Fast-Track Details

  • There is a lot more to explore! You are highly encouraged to attend additional career events beyond the two required workshops.  Visit a CAC Open House in the fall or spring to meet the career advisors and attend at least one additional event related to a  Career Pathway. 
  • Need help? Stop by  Career Express Advising and CAC Ambassador Express Advising to check in about your progress, talk to an advisor if you are unable to attend one of the “Fast-Track” workshops, and get additional support. 
  • Finished the assigned activities at both workshops? You are up-to-speed and ready to make your first career appointment! Congratulations on completing your “Fast-Track” and progressing on your career journey!
Milestones Map

Journey through the Career Milestones

The Career Milestones are part of our action-oriented four-year program that will enable you to develop and implement an effective career strategy to accomplish your professional goals. Each step is loosely correlated with the traditional four years of undergraduate education, but everyone moves at their own pace. To help you find your way, the Career Milestones Map provides a guide to the most important actions you can take for your career planning. As you progress, you can check off these actions to record your journey. Remember, the CAC, and your entire Forester community, is here to help every step along the road.

Download your Milestones Map

Next Steps with Career Planning

Join a Career Pathway

Career Pathways are specialized communities that help you match your interests with career preparation opportunities. Each Pathway has its own personality and unique events. Pathways are often, but not always, correlated to your major. You can join one or all five:

To join a career pathway, fill out this form—you will receive notifications about upcoming events and job and internship opportunities. View your current pathway by viewing the “Labels” section in your Handshake profile.

Explore our career services platform Handshake

Lake Forest College uses Handshake, the leading career platform used at over 1,400 colleges and by more than 550,000 employers, including the Fortune 500, startups, nonprofits and more. On Handshake you can

Current students already have an account. Log in using your Lake Forest College credentials. Visit to complete your profile and put your best self forward to employers!

Find a part-time job on campus or in the community

On-Campus Jobs: All on-campus jobs are posted on the College's career management platform, Handshake. Click here to learn more about student employment and payroll.

Community jobs: is a website where you can make an account to see local household and other part-time positions such as babysitting, tutoring, helping at parties, running errands, and moving furniture.

Make a career advising appointment

Ready to talk to a career advisor? Once you have taken the first steps through your First-Year Fast-Track to get started with the CAC's resources and begin your resume, it is time to schedule your first meeting with your career advisor. You and your advisor will discuss your progress and interests, future plans for internships and other experiential learning opportunities, and collaborate to help you make a plan for your future.

Log in to Handshake to make your appointment. Once you are on your homepage,

  1. Click “Career Center” in the menu on the top of the screen. On the next page, under “What can we help you find?” select “Appointments.”
  2. On the next page, click “Schedule New Appointment.”
  3. Choose a Category and an Appointment Type based on what you would like to discuss with your advisor. Appointment Types are based on Career Pathways, which are specialized communities that help you match your interests with career preparation opportunities. When making an appointment, choose the option most closely related to the type of career you are interested in discussing.
  4. Choose how you would like to meet with your advisor by selecting an Appointment Medium in the top right.
  5. Select the date and time you would like to schedule your appointment.
  6. Write a note to your advisor about what you would like to discuss, then hit “Request.”

You can also make an appointment by stopping by the CAC office in Brown Hall 256 during open hours 8:30a.m.-5:00p.m., or calling us at 847-735-5235.

Contact Information

Gorter Family Career Advancement Center

256 Brown Hall, Middle Campus


Academic Year: Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Follow Us!

Facebook     Instagram     Twitter