In today’s world, there exists a vast array of career possibilities and choices that can make one overwhelmed when making a decision. Paradoxically, the more choices people have, the more they analyze themselves, trying to find out the ones best suited for them. In most cases, people approach career decisions with a mindset not so sound. If you have a network of working friends, you can utilize them to compile a list of options in the fields you are interested in.
Career exploration comes as the second stage of career planning and development process. This is the stage where you gather information about occupations after going through a self-assessment process. You begin to narrow down the long career list to remain with one, that you are BEST at. Exploring careers can be both exciting and stressful at the same time. It may be time-consuming and costly to go from one to another.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Exploring Career Options
After you have set a career in mind, the next step is to research the specific skills and qualifications that you need for the job and decide on how you are going to turn it into reality. When considering your options, narrow down your choices and thinking about what suits you best at that particular point.
– What skills do I need?
– What are my best training/work options?
– How do they match with my interests, skills, and values?
– How do my set options fit with the current job market?
– What are the possible pros and cons of each option?
– What are the things that can help or prevent me from achieving those goals?
Ways to Explore Your Career Options
Internet researching is the first step in exploring career options available in your paths. You can use government websites and search engines to gain insights into the required qualifications, the basic salaries and the opportunities available. Many jobs may require you to get more education that may or may not be an option for you.
Job shadowing comes after you have conducted the preliminary research. You select two or three career paths of your interests. If you are interested in the health sector, you may want to shadow a doctor, surgeon or health care administrator before gaining the necessary education of any of these positions.
Networking and Informational Interviewing
Researching and reading may not capture all the necessary information you need to make an important decision. Extensive networking and informational interviewing is required. What you will learn from friends and family during networking will either confirm or contradict what you have read and researched during the first stage. Arrange interviews with people in strategic positions and ask them questions about their career to understand the pros and cons of each post.
Gaining the Relevant Experience
Closing the experience gap from the position you are currently at, to the future position you want to be in, is critical to a successful transition. Those in a working full-time job or with additional commitments may find this stage to be quite challenging. If you are not to the option of part-time or formal internships, you may consider volunteering, to gain the relevant experience. This will send the appropriate message to your potential employer that this is your new career direction.
Evaluating and Decision-Making
At last, it is a time you evaluate and make a final decision guided by the information and knowledge gained through the above four processes. Take an ample time to review a SWOT analysis of the career path you have chosen. Career exploration can be quite time-consuming and challenging because it means confronting your fears, taking huge risks and making hard decisions.
What Employers are looking for?
A qualification is a real proof that you have the knowledge or the skill to suit a certain area. Work experience is always an added advantage. However, despite all these, you need to demonstrate to your potential employer that you possess the following vital skills;
– Problem solving
– Working on deadlines
– Management and leadership
– Motivating people
– Decision making
– Research skills
Demonstrating that you possess the above skills means you are adaptable and can bring new dimensions to the job you are looking at. When seeking for a job, you can be more successful by convincing a potential employer that you have the right qualifications and skills for the job. A good way to start is through recognizing your transferable skills. These are the skills, abilities, qualities and aptitudes that can be transferred from one job to another. These help you to be more adaptable and flexible in case you need to change your job.