I Don’t Know What I Want to Do!

You need a job, but the problem is that you don’t know what you want to do.  You’ve seen lots of job advertisements, but you aren’t sure where to focus your energy.  How do you find a career path that will be both profitable and fulfilling.  Here are some tips that may help:

Talk to people.  Don’t try to do it all alone.  Your friends, family and people in your network are all excellent resources.  They could be aware of industries or jobs that you haven’t even considered, and since they know you, they may be able to recommend something that is a good match for your skills and personal attributes.

Do labour market research.  Labour market research is a great way to find out what jobs are available and to determine which professions are in demand.  Websites, such as:  www.workingincanada.gc.ca and

www.hrsdc.gc.ca allow you to look at the details on specific professions, and to browse general labour market information where you can learn about new careers.

Take a quiz.  Career assessment tools are a good way to get you thinking about your skills and interests and they may point you in a direction that you hadn’t already considered.  Here is one to get you started:  http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/quizzes/workpreference_quiz.html

Review your past experiences.  Take some time to consider your past work experience, volunteer work and hobbies.  Where were you the most happy?  What parts of each job did you enjoy?  Even if it was an unpleasant experience, there may be parts of the job that you really liked.  Once you identify tasks that you enjoy and that you are good at, you can try to find other jobs that make use of those skills.

Go to the library.  A big part of finding your perfect job is knowing what’s out there.  It’s easy to get stuck in a rut where you are only considering a very limited number of possibilities.  Go to the library and try to broaden your perspective.  Read newspapers, magazines, industry publications, and anything else that you can get your hands on, all with the purpose of identifying new opportunities.  You may be surprised by what you find.

Looking for a job can be daunting, and it can feel particularly overwhelming if you don’t know what you want.  Try to have fun with it and embrace the opportunity to find a job that you actually enjoy.  Don’t be afraid to try something new; if you hate it, you can always move on to something else.

(Written by Karen Bivand)

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