Most of us are familiar with looking for a job. Maybe we look on Monster.com or Craig's list. Maybe we look in the newspaper or on job lists in a specific field of work. Wherever we do our research, we have a specific target in mind. We have a specific job in mind and we are looking for work.
Career research is different. Career research is more exploratory. It is about looking for options and learning about possible careers we didn't think of or even know about before. It's also a chance to step back and assess what we like to do, what kinds of strengths and interests we have, what our needs are, how that all matches with different careers, and what the education requirements are to work in a field.
Like all research, career research works best if you approach it with an open mind.