If you’ve reached this page you may be undecided on which job is for you. Finding which career is for you can be puzzling to say the least. You may have a small list of jobs you would consider or a huge intimidating catalogue, and you don’t know where to start.
Whichever category you are in, we have some clear advice aimed at guiding you towards the job you want.
A little research
Many people simply lack the motivation to do any job research. If you are one of these people go to your nearest stationery shop right now. Buy yourself a decent sized writing pad and a cheap pen. These will make up your ‘job search kit’. On the cover write ‘job search kit’ in big letters. Use the writing pad to make notes as you progress in your research. I know it sounds a childish, but bear with me.
The real purpose of the kit is to simply get you started in your research; if you’ve got a place to write your notes, you are more likely to make some. Sometimes the first step is the hardest. Now you have an easy first step: getting the pen and paper.
Some people have never researched anything before; don’t worry it’s not very difficult. Aim for a list of at least 20 jobs, and try to complete the list in less than 2 weeks.
- Make notes of the jobs you think you would like to do.
- Give each job a score from 1 to 10.
- Detail why you would like that particular job.
Where can I do my research?
Papers are cheap, easy to read and you can circle the jobs you have an interest in, before you write them in your pad. They often have days when they list their jobs, so don’t expect listings every day. Try national, regional and local papers.
The Internet has a wealth of information (well, you’re reading this aren’t you?) you can use. Go to your favourite search engine, such as Google and enter ‘jobs’. You will be presented with a huge list of places to research.
The National Careers Service has a very good section with career profiles. They tell you what’s involved with each job. They also tell you what kind of training you’ll need to do for each. Prospects also has a section like this, and My World of Work.
If you live in a large town or city you may have a Careers Advice Centre. Here you will find professional advice on a wide range of jobs.
Job centres usually have hundreds of jobs available. However, many jobs which reach the jobs centre may be low skilled or low waged.
Ask anybody you can about their job experience, I’m sure they’ll be please to help.
Look for patterns
When your research is complete, look for patterns or trends which are common to a number of your chosen jobs. This may guide you towards a certain area of work or push you away from others. Other patterns may point you towards technical or outdoor employment.
What matters, is you have undertaken a research task and completed it. You have listed about 20 jobs, and now have a basic idea of what those jobs entail and whether they are suitable for you.
It’s often said “if you do a job you enjoy, you never have to do a days work in your life.” What can be better than getting paid to do something you enjoy?
If you have any hobbies or interests, write them down. You might get a few job ideas from the skills each hobby brings. They could range from bird-watching to crosswords.
Appreciation of nature
Interest in wildlife
Look inside yourself
The values you hold are another guide to help you in your job search. Make a list of your values. Look for common themes, and seek jobs which fall into categories suitable for you.
Below is a list of 100 values you can use as a starting point.
Acceptance, accomplishment, accuracy, achievement, adventure, affection, ambition, assertiveness, belonging, clarity, commitment, compassion, completion, confidence, contribution, control, conviction, curiosity, desire, devotion, dexterity, dignity, diligence, discipline, duty, eagerness, effectiveness, efficiency, enthusiasm, excellence, excitement experience, expertise, exploration, fairness, faith family, fearlessness, ferocity, flexibility, fluency, freedom, frugality, giving, guidance, happiness, helpfulness, imagination, independence, ingenuity, inquisitiveness, insightfulness, inspiration, integrity, intelligence, intensity, introversion, intuition, investing, joy, judiciousness, justice, keenness, kindness, knowledge, leadership, learning, logic, meticulousness, modesty motivation, neatness, obedience, openness, optimism, originality, perceptiveness, perfection, philanthropy, popularity, proactivity, professionalism, punctuality, purity resolve, resourcefulness, respect, restraint, saintliness, selflessness, sensitivity, significance, skilfulness, teamwork, uniqueness, unity, variety, vision, wealth and wisdom.
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture or in any other situation requiring a decision.
SWOT can be used to help you find out more about yourself. It consists on internal and external factors.
Internal factors: The ‘strengths’ and ‘weaknesses’ internal you, i.e., your personality, character etc.
External factors: The ‘opportunities’ and ‘threats’ presented by the external environment i.e., people you know, job openings etc.
Write down as many strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as possible. This should help you understand yourself.
Take your analysis on step further and use “USED” to generate possible strategies, by asking and answering the following four questions:
How can we Use each Strength?
How can we Stop each Weakness?
How can we Exploit each Opportunity?
How can we Defend against each Threat?
The more compatible you are with your job, the less it will seem like work. You are also more likely to be more productive and successful in a job you like.
But please bear in mind, you don’t have to hold out for years waiting for the perfect job. If you get a job you don’t like, simply look for another one.
Motivation is the key to finding employment which suits you. The only way you’re going to find a job you like is to find it, unless you are very lucky and it finds you.