Deciding on a career can seem like an overwhelming task if you’re not sure what you want to do in the future. To assist you in planning your career we are going to highlight some important things for you to consider as you choose the career path that’s right for you.
1. Identifying your interests/skills
The first step of any career plan is to identify your interests.
A great way to identify your interests is to consider what you enjoy spending your time on and what you naturally excel at. Here are some questions to help you identify your interests:
Getting an outside perspective
To further explore your interests and strengths, talk to people who know you well. In the same way that you would use a mirror to get an outside perspective on what you look like, your parents, teachers, coaches, or good friends can provide you with a perspective on your skills, abilities and potential that you might not be able to see on your own.
You can ask your friends what they see in you by having them answer questions similar to those you’ve asked yourself about your interests. You can also get them to validate your skills inventory and see if they can think of anything you missed
2. Career expectations
Consulting people you respect and trust who have more life experience than you can help you make a more informed decision on which career path you should take. At the end of the day, however, you are the one who has to live with the results of your decision.
To manage the expectations you have of yourself when it comes to your career, you will need to think about what you hope to accomplish and, when possible, identify timelines. This will give you a sense of the direction you’re heading in and will make it easier for you to make necessary adjustments along the way.
3. Job outlook
A good way to plan for your future is to determine the potential job prospects in your field of interest. You will need to go through labour market information and resources to help give you an overview of general industry information, including which industries have a promising job outlook.
4. Training and education
Once you’ve selected a career path, you may need to get the proper training and education that will allow you to work in your field. Our online university and college guide will be of great help.
5. Getting experience in your field
Before you can start your career, you will need to acquire experience in your field.
A great way to get experience in your field is to plan ahead and start looking while you’re still in school. Try looking for a holiday or part-time jobs that could give you relevant experience and skills that could transfer nicely into your professional career. If you can start planning for your career while you’re still studying, you will be better equipped to land a rewarding job when you graduate.
Top five tips for getting experience in your field
1. Find a mentor. A more experienced person who works in the line of work you’re interested in can help you by giving advice on how they got to where they are in their career. Mentors are a great go-to resource to help answer questions you might have or give you advice on how to approach challenges you might be facing.
2. Do some research. Learn about the organizations or companies in your field that are close to where you live, or in places, you’d like to live. You can also find out where the most jobs in your field are. Sometimes getting a job in your field requires you to move to a different part of the country.
3. Keep an open mind. It’s good to remember that careers develop over time, not overnight. Taking a job that might seem unrelated to your ideal career can open you up to new fields of work you didn’t realize you would enjoy, or teach you skills that could help you become a well-rounded employee when you finally land a job in your chosen field. Your first job doesn’t have to determine the rest of your life.
4. Everyone needs to start somewhere. It’s common for employees starting off in a new line of work to be expected to “pay their dues.” This means you might find yourself doing less than glamorous work to start off, but if you keep a learning attitude and do a good job, you will increase your chances of success. You might have to start off at the bottom of the food chain, but that will provide you with experience and open you up to potential opportunities in the future.
5. Take a part-time job. Although you’re probably looking for full-time work, experience gained from a part-time job in your field could help you get your foot in the door and get you one step closer to accomplishing your career goals.