Seeing how we spend almost a third of our adult lives just working, choosing a career that you truly love and enjoy is crucial. Yet, many young Australians are still left undecided on this note. According to some recent statistics, there are around one million young workers currently in retail, construction, and the food and accommodation businesses, which accounts for some 52% of the entire youth workforce.
However, just because these jobs are the most common (and popular) ones, doesn’t mean you have to stick primarily with them; there are other sectors and industries out there. Hence, to find out which occupation is the perfect fit for you and your skills, you need to do some detective work first.
Take a look at these guidelines outlined for you down below and find the job of your dreams!
Before you go on to choose a career path for yourself, you first need to take a good look at the mirror. Just ask yourself:
- What am I good at?
- What are my hobbies?
- What are my main skills?
- What are my best soft-skills?
- What interests me and drives me forward?
In general, think about the things you enjoyed in school (and excelled at) the most. This will give you a good idea of where you are headed. Also, try not to dwell on these questions for too long and, instead, listen to your heart; overthinking can lead to inaction which will make you counter-productive.
If you still aren’t sure (after hours of introspection), consider talking to a job counselor. They can provide you with some neat tests that will assess your overall skills and personality. In addition, they can also give you some sound advice on how to pursue your goals, and whether they’re obtainable or not.
Make a Comprehensive List of Occupations
Once you’ve evaluated what your main strengths and weaknesses are, it’s time to get down to business. Do a small brainstorming session and write down a few occupations you are most keen on that also match your self-assessment tests. After you’ve compiled a huge list of choices, you need to slowly start narrowing them down. Think about your short- and long-term goals.
For instance, you may want to become a rocket scientist, but is that option truly viable? Perhaps somewhere down the line, you will become one, but at the moment you need to focus your attention on something more tangible. Drive a wedge between the jobs you want and the ones that are actually obtainable. Also, consider the general quality of life that these occupations provide you with (as well as their stability). It’s admirable that you want to become an artist but there are still things such as rent and student loans.
Explore the Jobs on Your List
Now, we come to the fun part. Do some deep research on the occupations on your list and gather as much information as you can. Search for these job descriptions on different job boards, forums, LinkedIn profiles, etc., and take notes on the various requirements set by employers (educational degrees, social skills, experience, and more).
One general rule of thumb is to never conduct broad Google searches for such jobs. Instead, look specifically for jobs in your area. For example, if you’re from Melbourne, explore the latest jobs in Melbourne and all the surrounding areas. That way you get a much better idea of what your future employers are expecting of you, as well as the opportunities you are presented with.
Network with People in that Field
After conducting your research, you should have a better idea of what it is that you want to do. Use this new-found insight to scout for people with jobs in your dream occupations. Start with friends and family, and go on from there.
Once you find the people you are looking for, arrange a meeting with them — either through Skype or face-to-face; it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the first-hand experience they can provide you with; sometimes an occupation can sound great on paper, but things can be totally different in practice.
Now, this might sound a bit shady but — consider shadowing people with your dream job in social media, LinkedIn, etc. and follow in their footsteps.
Set Your Sight on Your Goals
By now, if you’ve closely followed all the steps, you should’ve narrowed down one or two possible career paths. For them to become a reality, you need to keep your eyes on the finish line.
Stay humble and work towards accomplishing your goals; Rome wasn’t built in a single day. Does your dream profession require a college degree? Is there an online course that can help?
Whatever the case may be, start getting those referrals and consider working part-time to gain valuable experience in your chosen field. That way you’ll see for yourself whether you enjoy your dream job or whether it’s actually a nightmare.
In the end, it all comes down to your own personal preferences and to what you have available. What some might consider a decent career path could be a nightmare for you and vice-versa. Listen to your own gut, stand by your choices, and don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise. It’s your life (and career) after all.