The word career means a lot of things and evokes a lot of different feelings in different people. In one person, it might be joy, in another, discomfort; in one, a bad memory, while in another, a fear of the unknown. A career demands a lot from a person in terms of monetary investment, time, and commitment. These factors combined make choosing your next job a big move. But don’t worry—there are online resources that have career advice prepared for you to help you get through the process of choosing your next career. By the time you are done, you will have clear and actionable steps to help you make a decision.
Whether you are a recent graduate or a person looking to change their current career, these tips will help you navigate this uncharted and shaky phase. To begin making progress in selecting a career, you need to rid yourself of any anxiety, collect your thoughts, and be prepared to do a self-analysis. It is essential to maintain a clear, open mind and a sense of self-awareness to make a productive decision.
That said, here’s advice you can follow when choosing your next career:
1. List Down Your Interests
What do you love doing? What do you enjoy doing? Simply put, what activities bring you utmost pleasure and fulfillment when you get involved in them? Your interests could be cooking, gaming, tutoring, gardening, cleaning, writing, drawing, socializing. The list is endless. Once you have identified what interests you, this will give you something to work with. Do not limit yourself to activities that seem “employable”. List every activity, including your hobbies and passions.
2. Determine Your Skills
Skills refer to competencies that you have, whether learned in school, self-taught, gained through work, or naturally predisposed. What can you do well? Skills encompass hard skills, labor skills, life skills, people skills, social skills, and soft skills. Everyone possesses a particular skill set that can be applied in different jobs. Examples of competencies are communication, decision making, prioritizing, time management, communicating effectively, adaptability, leadership.
Skills combined with your interest will give you a more focused and broad outlook as an individual that will allow you to figure out which career path to follow correctly.
3. Figure Out Your Goals
What do you want to achieve in your career? Is it a social impact on marginalized demographics? Do you want to attain flexibility in your work life? What do you value in a career? What is of importance to you when you think about an ideal job? It could be job security, work independence, a high salary, perks, and benefits, the ability to travel to different places. Now, more than ever, people value workplaces that utilize their existing skills and knowledge, and allow them to acquire new skills and progress in their career development.
Your values and goals will help you to identify the best careers that are suited to your personality and work preferences. Identifying your skills, interest, values, and objectives help you analyze your abilities and have a clear idea of what you are looking for in a job.
After carrying out an internal assessment, it is time to go to the next stage.
4. Conduct Research
By now, you may already have an idea of some careers that may fit your interests, skills, and goals, but it is not enough to stop at that. Consider using online resources that will give you a list of careers that match your personality and preferences.
Formulate a list of potential career paths that are appealing to you and get to talking with recruiters to understand what the requirements of those particular industries are. If you have friends and people in your network that are in those professions, carry out informational interviews with them. Find out what the pros and cons of the job are. Get a hold of what goes on in those professions.
If you are residing in the US, you can start looking for a perfect career using Jooble and find relevant jobs in a few seconds saving your time.
5. Keep Your Options Open
This implies that you have to have an open mind and be flexible about your career decision. With the fast technological changes and consumer needs, it is imperative to see the future of the career you are thinking about getting into. Do not just choose a career because it is the highest-paying job now. It might not be on the list of highest-paying jobs in 10 years to come.
While choosing a career, focus on jobs that will still be needed in the future. The marketplace is very dynamic, and there is a massive restructuring in how work is done due to emerging technologies. While you cannot be technology-proof in whatever career you settle for, you need to be highly adaptable to new technologies and be teachable.
6. Count the Cost
How much will it take to be qualified to do that job you have your sights set on? Are you willing and able to put in the work? Some professions require a longer time to study than others. You might need a high school diploma, a two-year degree, a four-year degree, or even more to get a job in a particular industry. Find out the educational requirements of your preferred career path and do the math. Some professions require professional qualifications and certifications. For example, for you to be a Certified Public Accountant, you need to have professional qualifications. Whereas to be a subway operator, you only need a high school diploma.
7. Use Your Available Resources
If you are in college, you can easily access the career counselor in your school who can help you understand the various career paths that are available for you. Career counselors can help you choose the right jobs for you, give you tips in choosing your career, and connect you with companies for job shadowing and internships.
8. Consider an Internship
An internship can help you have a feel of the job and industry as is. Direct experience in an industry will help you decide whether you would like to work there or not. Moreover, internships are a great way to get your foot in the door of the company you would like to work in. It has been proven that at least 52% of companies absorb their interns as full-time employees.
The greatest takeaway even as you begin this process is to keep an open mind when it comes to changes in the market and technological advances. Align yourself with the advances occurring within your industry of choice and you will succeed.
With these tips, you are ready to get started on your journey to your next career. All the best!