Even though a vaccine is on the horizon, our lives are far from ‘back to normal.’ Many people are using this time to evaluate what they want to do post-pandemic, and for some job seekers, this is not easy.
If you are launching your career, you may not have gone through skills and interest assessment exercises in college to fully understand your strengths and skill set. Similarly, if you are mid-career, you may have selected your initial path based on what you were good at and what well-intentioned family and friends suggested rather than based on your enjoyable skills.
People often wonder what else is out there for them. Follow the steps below to help gain a solid understanding of the puzzle pieces that should fit together to help direct your career path.
1) Determine your skills and interests – Think about your significant accomplishments in school and in any jobs you have previously held. What enjoyable skills did you use to achieve these accomplishments?
2) Set goals – What does success look like for you in 5-10 years? Research shows that people are happier when working toward a goal even if they never achieve that goal.
3) Try to identify core work values
- Rank by importance to you attributes such as financial compensation, work-life balance, supportive work environment, etc., to help you evaluate industries and positions given your preferences. You can also use one of the online websites, such as www.careeronestop.org
, to determine work values.
4) Identify job satisfiers and dissatisfiers - List your likes and dislikes at prior or current positions. See if there are any themes on your list.
5) Research industries/occupations -
- Given your core strengths/skills, go online to Onetonline.org (government-sponsored labor force database). See which positions are a good fit for you given your skills.
Write up a list of family and friends to whom you can reach out, network and discuss different occupations.
- Read online about each potential industry
- Read job descriptions on online job search websites. Highlight positions where there is an overlap between the preferred list of skills and your strengths.
- Browse LinkedIn and read as much as you can about the job paths of individuals with similar backgrounds.
6) Develop a narrow list of industries/job functions -
- Rank each industry/function based on your work values, skills, interests, job satisfiers, dissatisfiers and goals.
- Continue to network with individuals in your targeted industries to further investigate industry trends, skills needed, and suggestions for getting your foot in the door. Professionals who were previously too busy to talk may now have time available to chat with you.
With your clearly articulated list of skills and interests and your narrow list of industries and occupations, you can begin to network and conduct informational interviews.
- Jody Perl, Career Coach and CRC Board Member