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Career Search

 

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This may sound like the easy stage, but in fact you need to take time to think about what sort of job - and organisation - would suit you.  You spend about one third of your time during the working week doing your job, so it needs to be something that you’ll enjoy and which utilizes your skills, as well as paying the bills.

Finding your ideal job

Before you can make use of our tips for applying for jobs, you have to find a job that you want!

This may sound like the easy stage, but in fact you need to take time to think about what sort of job - and organisation - would suit you.  You spend about one third of your time during the working week doing your job, so it needs to be something that you’ll enjoy and which utilizes your skills, as well as paying the bills.

smiling people

How to identify a job that suits you


It may be that you’re one of those lucky people who has always known what you want to do!  Perhaps you’ve had strong ideas from an early age, or have a vocation to be a doctor or nurse.  However, many people finish their education with lots of knowledge, skills and experience, but without clear ideas about their future career.  Others may be dissatisfied with their current job or career path, and want a change, but aren’t sure what they could do next given their background.  Here are a few things to consider and questions to ask yourself which could help to clarify your ideas and goals.


Motivation and values

What drives you to succeed and what do you believe in?  Are you motivated by meeting targets or working under pressure, producing a quality product or helping other people?  Think about these and other questions; if you find it hard to pin down the answers, start by thinking about what demotivates you, and work by process of elimination.  Thinking about your motivation and values can help you to identify types of jobs that might suit you - for example, if you are motivated by meeting and exceeding targets, a sales career might be something to think about.


Lifestyle

Think about all aspects of your quality of life.  Are you prepared to work long or unsociable hours, or do shift work?  Or is work/life balance more important to you and would you prefer 9-5 or even part time?  How about travel, or a job that involves lots of driving?  Would this add to your enjoyment of your job or take you away from your family and social life?  How much money do you need or want to earn?  Do you want to be merely comfortable, or earn megabucks and retire at 45?  How much stress are you prepared to accept?  Think about your life outside work and how you want this to fit in with your job.


Skills, experience and background

What skills and experience do you have to offer?  Think about this and make a list.  Think in terms of transferable skills, such as problem solving, organizational skills, communication, IT, etc.  Do you have any particular knowledge or expertise?  The list of your skills and experience can start to point you towards jobs and careers that might be appropriate for you, but don’t worry if there are gaps - most people have something to learn when they start something new.


What do you enjoy doing?

Think about your current job, a previous job, your degree, voluntary work or extra-curricular activity you have been involved in.  What did you enjoy and dislike?  Do you prefer to work by yourself or in a team?  Do you like being office-based, or would you prefer to get out and about?  Do you like lots of people contact, or being creative, or doing paperwork, or cold calling, or selling?  There are many questions you can ask yourself here.


Long term aspirations

You may not know what you want to do right now, but have you got a vision of your longer term future?  For example, retired early, living in a different country, running a B&B?  If you have an idea of what you might be doing in a few years time - a ten year grand plan, say - then you could work back from that and fill in the details - eg, what skills and experience will you need now to realize your dream, how much money do you need to earn and save etc.


Once you’ve been through this process, start doing some research to see what kinds of jobs are out there.  There are lots of ways to do this - look through job advertisements in papers and trade publications, talk to family and friends about what they do and if they like it, or look at the careers pages of organizations that interest you.


Your perfect job - a health warning


There is no such thing as the ‘perfect job’ in that many jobs will contain parts that we either dislike or like less than others.  However going through the above steps will help you to define the things you definitely do and don’t want in a job.  Also, think about the things that you could compromise on.  Be prepared to make small sacrifices and this will increase the range of jobs you can apply for, but hang on to what’s genuinely important to you.


Go to the next page - Employment Search - Information and guidance

 

Go to the previous page - Applying For Jobs

 

Go to the main page - Career Tools

 

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