Career Navigator Toolkit

What is a Career Navigator?

The job of a career navigator is to coach, motivate, support, remove barriers and connect young people to resources, tools and training and prepare them to be successful in the workplace.

Career Navigator
Talent Development Terms

Approaches to Career Navigation

Engagement Strategies for Opportunity Youth

Through our research and experience the number one most important aspect of engaging young adults is developing a trusting relationship.

The First Meeting and Follow-Up

The first appointment is a critical component of opportunity youth engagement. It is important to provide a safe space and a supportive environment, as first impressions can determine if the youth feels comfortable and will continue to engage.

Developing a Career Plan

Career planning is an essential component of a career navigator’s work and requires the navigator be able to assess client skills, assist in developing of specific, measurable achievable, relevant and time sensitive (S.M.A.R.T.) goals, and help connect to resources.

Career Exploration Spreadsheet

Career Exploration Tools

Preparing for Work

Employers consistently emphasize the importance of soft skills when evaluating job applicants.

Retention and Upskill

You have helped an opportunity youth secure a position; now what? This section will address how opportunity youth can be successful on the job and continue to develop as a professional.


Educational opportunities are plentiful and can be difficult to navigate. This section will explore financial resources, types of education options and tools to help young people find the right fit.

Work-Based Learning

According to the Colorado Workforce Development Council Education and Training Committee, work-based learning is just that: “Learning opportunities that occur in part or in whole in the workplace and provide the learner with hands-on, real world experience.”

Supportive Services

Online directories in Colorado.

Resources for Justice Involved Youth

The workforce and education resources in the document below are specifically for Justice Involved Youth.

Resources for Foster Care Youth

The workforce and education resources in the document below are specifically for Foster Care Youth that have been in the system, are preparing to exit, or are out.

Special thanks to Katie Kraft and Bobby Brown for their efforts to help put together this guide for Career Navigators in Colorado!