It is 2015 and New Year resolutions are well underway; gym membership applications have been filled out, all the chocolate has been evicted from the cupboards and alcohol has been banned from households in anticipation of a dry January.
These are the typical New Year’s resolutions that we have come to expect and, more often than not, fail to keep every year but what if 2015 became the year that you made an important resolution to start a job in a sector that you loved or started your very own business? All that is needed is focus, determination and a step by step guide to help you through.
Focus on You
When you are job searching, you are the most important factor in the whole process. This may sound incredibly obvious, however, it is astounding the amount of people that disregard their own dreams and happiness in order to pay their bills. Your happiness is paramount when looking for a career so make a list of career paths that you will enjoy, not ones that are based on your skills alone. At this point in the process there are no limitations, so write down prospective jobs that excite you, even if that is an astronaut or a doctor or an actor, it is all relevant at this stage.
The next step is to write down any traits, skills and interests that you have; this will allow you to make a crossover between your lists to see which career area you will be better suited to and will enjoy the most. Aspects such as going out with friends and meeting new people will link to you being sociable and being comfortable in group situations; this can lead to you enjoying meeting new members of staff or new customers and being able to work well within a team.
If your hobby is reading, your trait would be a good imagination which in turn is incredibly useful in producing new ideas, as well as being skilled at analysis; readers constantly analyse the book they are reading such as the author’s use of language, the characters and the plot line. A simple, enjoyable hobby can hide a plethora of skills that are incredibly sort after in the world of work.
Research and Experience
You may think that your list sounds thrilling/exciting/everything you have ever wanted but when you start to research the roles themselves, you may find that it is not at all what you thought it would be. It is important to see every angle of the job, the exciting moments but also the more mundane parts, by doing this you will be able to see if it is right for you. You can do this research online but it may also be useful to talk to any friends or family to see if they know anyone in this line of work; this will enable you to get an honest review of the career path.
You can also make use of career advisors, if you went to university you are able to use their service as an alumni. They will be able to provide extensive information on the role, including any training or skill sets required, and they will also be able to help with your application, such as checking your CV and cover letters.
Experience is crucial, not just to add to your CV for employers, but for you to experience the role first hand and to see whether it is right for you. There may be opportunities for you to gain unpaid work experience for a week, for you to do the role part time or to simply shadow someone who is already in the position that you are interested in. By gaining this experience, it will open your eyes to the career path you are looking to take.