Find your Dream Job

Choosing a Career

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There is doubt when it comes time for adolescents and young adults to find a career, many will shy away from the task. Of course, you can rely on others to help you make the decision. But, you must remember that some people will not have your best interest at heart. The only true way to ensure you make the right decision is for you to do it yourself. You must also be patient, do your research and explore your options. Below, you discover several tips to help you find a career that is suitable for your needs and preferences.


Choosing a career that’s right for you can be as easy as following the following steps:

  1. Make a list of your interests and skills
  2. Research the job market and explore different industries or locations
  3. Consider the advantages and disadvantages
  4. Read company reviews and choose inspiring employers
  5. Update your social network presence
  6. Tailor your cover letter and Resume/CV
  7. Create your job search plan
  8. Nail the interview

Identify Your Interests and Skills

Choosing a career is an extremely important task and must be taken seriously. Your career will follow you throughout your life. So, if you make the wrong decision, you could find yourself miserable for the rest of your life. Making a smart choice is as simple as identifying your interests and skills.

Your career choice could be motivated by hobbies and interests, current skills and expertise, previous qualifications or something you’ve always wanted to try. Those interested in education might look for learning support assistant jobs, while individuals with great organization skills could become an event manager.

If you base your career goals on your special skills, interests, and values, the more likely you will end up enjoying your job until you retire. And, who knows you may not even want to retire when the time comes.

Use the “Interests Checklist” from Tufts University to help you identify your interests.

Research The Job Market

The job market can be extremely complex, and it is continuously changing. Dig deep into the job sectors, including private, public and not-for-profit. This will give you an idea of which career path will be more suitable for you. It is also important to know which jobs are expanding and which jobs are declining. Assessing which areas of work are more suitable for your interests, values, and skills. You should also research what careers other college graduates in your discipline are entering.

There may be some companies that you truly admire or a particular industry where you would like to work. Make a list of potential employers.  Small to medium-sized enterprises tend to be more in touch with consumers. Meanwhile, the opportunities for career development at a multinational corporation are immense. Take a look at our article – The Best Companies to Work For

Although there are some people who know exactly what they want to do as a job from an early age, many of us struggle to find our calling in life.

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You need to do your homework and research the companies you would like to work for. You must know (at a minimum), what the company does, who their competitors are and why you want to work for them. To the extent possible (and Glassdoor.com is a great place to start), learn all you can about how employees rate their company.

Book CornerThe Job Search Solution: The Ultimate System for Finding a Great Job Now!

Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash

Consider the Advantages and Disadvantages

Create a list of about five to ten jobs and research them thoroughly (a great source for research is bls.gov). Look deeply regarding training, salary, entry requirements, employment outlook, career development and job description. You must also consider if you want to work for a large corporation or medium-sized enterprise. You may prefer self-employment instead of working for someone else. The choice is yours to make, so be sure to consider all of your options to avoid making a major mistake.

Read Company Reviews

Just because a company is willing to offer you a decent salary with benefits, does not necessarily mean it will offer you a good work environment. A great way to find out if a specific company offers a friendly and comfortable work environment is to research reviews and ratings left by current and former employees. These reviews are a wealth of information, as they can provide details and information about the company from someone with first-hand experience.

Resources you should consider:

  1. LinkedIn.com
  2. Glassdoor.com
  3. Indeed.com

“When you are job searching, it’s important to read company reviews to get the inside scoop on the organization. Company reviews are written by current and former employees, and provide useful details about a company. Reviews provide information on the company culture, the managers, the hiring process, salaries, and more. Company reviews and ratings are available for just about every major company and many smaller employers.”

Update your social network presence

In order for Social Networks to have any benefit in your job search, you need to build them in a way that complements your professional background. Search out former colleagues that you’ve worked with and add them to your network. Don’t limit this to “employees”, also look to add consultants you’ve worked with as well.  But wait, don’t stop there. Also, add former college classmates and friends to further build out your network.

The “build your network” concept is great, but how do you actually build a network? But networking can be tough, especially if you are not the “social” type. If the thought of calling people you don’t know or having conversations at a networking event makes you a little nervous, consider the following networking tips to help you build your network.

    • Your Existing Network: Good news, you already have a network (unless you’ve been living as a recluse on some remote island). “What?” you may ask. Every friend, relative, former coworker, current coworker, college or high school acquaintance is a part of your existing network. And did I mention neighbors, your mailman and the checkout person at the supermarket? All of these individuals are part of your existing network
    • Your Extended Network: This consists of people who work or worked at companies where you worked –  They may not actually know you (maybe they know your name and maybe they don’t) but if you work/worked at the same company they are likely to be receptive to being part of your network.
    • People Who May Not Know You: People who work or worked at companies where you would like to work can be a great resource as well. Chances are that someone in your LinkedIn network knows one of these people.  These individuals will be your best source for introductions and the “inside scoop” on companies where you would like to work.

See:

Tailor your cover letter and Resume/CV

Whether or not you should have multiple resumes and how many resumes you have depends on the diversity of your experience and the length (as in the number of years) of your experience (Suggested ReadingCareer Success Blueprint: Discover your passion – create a superb resume).  Target your audience – write a resume that compliments your skills and the job opportunity.

Create your job search plan

You need a job search plan (your “map”) to help you find the right job without getting “lost”. Balancing your time during a job search can be challenging to say the least. Recruiters, job search engines, company career sites, your network, where do you start? The volume of information available, compounded by automated job search engines which email long lists of “matching jobs” (most of which are not even close) can keep you very busy on unproductive job search activities

Image by Andy Gries from Pixabay

Nail the interview

What makes an employer choose you over another candidate, especially when you both have the same skills? A lot of candidates find it stressful to compete for a role without quite knowing what their competition is like. Similarly, being able to catch a glimpse of another applicant, through their LinkedIn profile or in the waiting room can be equally destabilizing. It opens the door to comparison based on the level of information you can access, namely their appearance or the background data that is visible on a stranger’s profile online.

Most of us can use (but don’t always seek out) help in planning for the interview process.  Like everything else, practice makes perfect.  Leverage friends and family to help you prepare.  There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help in improving your interview skills.  Some resources are:

 Take Your Time

While you might feel like you want to make the whole career change thing happen overnight, you should take your time planning. This will help you get the best answer for you.

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