Finding a Career Path

Finding a career path is not just for young as they prepare to leave school or college.

Many Americans shift their career paths throughout their working years for a variety of reasons, including family obligations, location and finances. Knowing about the many opportunities you have before you is the first step in moving toward a new job or a new career, but it is also important to know how to identify potential opportunities when you see them.

Finding a career path that suits your needs means identifying everything you want and need from a job. Doing this, however, takes time and organization. If this is your first time entering the workforce, you might not have a substantial resume and may not be sure what to expect in a potential career. Working with professionals who can help guide you through these first steps as you decide what to pursue and how to enter the job market can be a truly invaluable experience. These professionals provide resources that can point you in the right direction.

If you are looking for a career shift but are not quite sure how to make that move, you can also access resources to ensure you make the right decision at the right time for your career and for your personal life. Understanding the options before you take the leap into a new path will help you to properly prepare and make this transition a positive one. A career shift can certainly be the right choice for you, but it must be done correctly or you might end up taking too many steps backward before being able to move forward.

Finding the right career path for you will require understanding everything that comes with a job. You will have to consider the pay and benefits as much as you consider the daily tasks and work style when you look at potential careers. Since you will be spending a large portion of each week at this job, it’s important you find the right combination of factors to meet as many of your needs and wants as possible.

How to Determine the Right Job Path for You

Determining the right job path can be a daunting task to undertake. With so many options in so many locations around the world, narrowing down the choices into realistic possibilities can take a lot of work. Starting with a self-assessment, you can take a closer look at the many aspects of a job as they pertain to you. Identifying your personality, your attributes, your skills and experience in addition to the many other factors that go into a successful and sustainable career can help you to determine the best path you should take.

When you do a self-assessment, you will uncover the traits and skills you truly have that can be applied to a new career path. However, you still need to consider the many other factors that go into a job and how it impacts your life. You’ll need to consider all these factors as you weigh your options and determine the right path to pursue. At the end of the day, you need to make the decision for yourself, regardless of the many insights you get and advice you receive and the professionals you consult.

What is Career Counseling?

Career counseling can prove to be incredibly valuable for anyone looking into new job options. If you are a young adult trying to figure out the right career path for yourself, then a career counselor at your school or college can help you to uncover the options based on your current trajectory. If you are mid-career and looking to make a shift onto a new path, a career counselor can offer the professional guidance you need to make this move at the right time.

There are many options for career counseling, including free and low-cost services provided locally. Knowing where to look and how to find a career counselor for your job needs and your budget can help you get started in choosing the right career path for you.

Informational Interviewing

Informational interviews offer one of the best ways to expand your professional network and to learn insider details about a specific company, job role or industry. Wherever you are in your career path, having an informational interview with someone who does what you want to do can provide you with the details you need to move forward. Informational interviews allow you to ask questions about the daily life of that professional, about the job details including benefits or promotional opportunities, and about the path that particular professional took to reach that position.

Understanding how an informational interview works and how to arrange such a meeting can help you to get a jump on your new career path. Networking within your desired industry will prove to be rewarding, so setting up a successful informational interview can be your opening into this new work life. Be sure you know how it works and how to make sure you leave a good impression before trying to set up your first informational interview.

Job Resource Centers

Job resource centers can offer additional assistance in-person in your local area. At job resource centers, you can get resume-writing assistance, tips and advice for interview preparation and labor market insights so you understand the long-term potential of different career paths. Job resource centers are usually staffed with professionals who can offer career counseling and guide you through applying for benefits if you need assistance during your job search.

Job resource centers vary in scope and size from your local library to U.S. Department of Labor American Job Centers available and ready for your use. Simply search for your local services and reach out to see how they can help you during your career shift or in finding a new job. Special services are available for those who fit into certain categories, including veterans, workers with disabilities, older workers and more.

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