Choosing the right job path. It’s often the most difficult part of a person’s career.
Some people have known what they’ve wanted to do since they were in school, carefully choosing the right subjects to study and internships to take. But a lot of us graduate school or even university without knowing what we want to do. So, what should you do if you’re in that situation? The first step is career awareness — knowing your options, what each career path entails and the kind of skills and qualities needed to succeed in it. Here are four ways to expand your career awareness and (hopefully) pinpoint your ideal job.
God bless the internet. It means that there is a huge, huge range of professional career websites, blogs and tools at the tip of your fingertips. Take a look at government sites or university career sites for neutral information on typical career paths or hunt down career blogs for more specific industries and personal advice. Large companies often have a career section featuring specific career paths that can give a better idea of day to day work.
Do some self-evaluation
Different personalities suit different roles, so have a good hard think about your likes and dislikes and strengths and weaknesses. Are you good with people? Can you lead a team? Do you react well to pressure? Asking yourself these kinds of questions will help you narrow down the kind of area you should be working in.
Likewise, think about the hard skills you already possess or would like to learn. What kind of fields can your work in? Think outside the box as well. Just because you studied IT, for example, doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. You could use your knowledge and transferable skills in a related field.
Talk to a career advisor
Schools, universities, job centres — most of these places have a career’s service, and they’re often free to use. Career advisors have a broad knowledge of different job paths and can use your likes, skill and current job market gaps to inform you of potential areas. They can also advise on the kind of qualifications you would need and how your overall career path might look. At the very least, sitting and talking to a neutral person will help you sort through your own thoughts and feelings.
Take an online assessment
There’s a huge range of different tests available online that can help you analyze your personality and suggest roles or careers that you might be suited to. While computer algorithms aren’t perfect and the results should certainly only be used as a guideline, they are useful for narrowing down potential paths. Plus, they are getting better all the time. Here at OpenSKIMR, we use a set of algorithms that analyze skill sets to matchmake and recommend jobs and learnings.