Your skills. Your skills are the things that you are able to do. You have developed certain skills at school, at your previous jobs, during extracurricular activities and through your personal life. Some examples of skills include creating, calculating, investigating, problem solving, decision making, leadership, teamwork, fixing and repairing, and mechanical operation. We all have certain things that we’re good at; make a list of those skills and you’re off to the right start.
Your interests. There is nothing worse than dragging yourself out each morning to a job that you hate. You need to find something that really gets your blood flowing. As Confucius said, “Choose a job that you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. What do you love? Where does your passion lie? If you’re not sure, try to remember what you liked to do as a child. That often gives us a clue as to what we really enjoy doing when salary is removed from the equation.
Your values. We all live our lives according to our values. Your values are what is important to you and you will not be happy unless your life is consistent with them. Similarly, we all have work values. Some examples of work values are job security, opportunity for advancement, a short commute, work-life balance, autonomy, helping others, prestige, leadership, and creativity. If you choose a career that is not consistent with your values, you may find that you are frustrated and unhappy in the job.
The labour market. Once you know what type of career you are looking for, you need to determine which jobs are actually in demand. A labour market assessment will let you know how many jobs are available for your target career within your region, and it will give you an idea of the requirements of the position. Industry and company research will help you get a deeper understanding of the day-to-day realities of the job so that you are able to find a job that is a good fit for you.
One of the most amazing things about today’s economy is that there are so many different options available. However the sheer quantity of potential opportunities can be intimidating in itself. The key is to keep it simple and to have fun with it. Stay focused on what’s important to you and allow yourself to get excited by what you find out there. Good luck!
(Written by: Karen Bivand)