Now that you have taken a good look at your skills, interests, and past experiences, it is time to find out more about the careers that match your personal profile. Carefully analyze the summary that you created in Step 1 to determine what types of work you would both enjoy doing and have an aptitude for. List at least three broad fields in which you wish to work, and find out more about careers in these fields.
Once you have determined broad areas of interest, take a look at specific occupations and what they involve.
Contact your campus career centre.
They will have a library of resource materials with comprehensive information on a range of careers. They will also be able to tell you where else you should look or who you should contact for more information.
Click here to find out where your campus career centre is.
Interview individuals with the occupation you are interested in.
It is also a good idea to interview individuals who once worked in that field but have now left it. This will help you develop an overall image of both the positive and negative aspects of a career. Make sure to interview more than one person and consider their potential biases. For instance, if you are talking with recruiters, part of their job is to attract candidates for the position, so they will likely paint a positive picture.
Attend career fairs.
Career Fairs will give you the opportunity to talk to recruiters from various organizations and thus, enable you to compare them. Contact your campus career center or your COA to find out when the next career fair is.
Once you have conducted your preliminary research to find out exactly what the different careers you are interested in involve, you should then narrow your focus by choosing the career or field that most interests you. Chances are that one career choice appeals to you more than any other. What you need to do next is get some practical experience working in that field. Hands-on experience is the best way to determine if you are in fact suited for such a career. The following are several methods that you may use to get hands-on experience:
Job Shadowing will allow you to witness one or two days of work. This will give you at least some idea of what the job would be like on a daily basis.
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience in the field. In addition, the fact that you volunteer shows a commitment to the field and looks great on a resume. You may not be able to get a volunteer position which allows you to do exactly the same things as those in the career that you wish to pursue, but if possible try getting positions that allow you to work with individuals who do what it is that you eventually want to.
Part-Time or Casual Positions
You could also try to get part-time positions with a company that you would like to work for in the future. Although you likely will not be able to work in the position that matches your career objective, casual work may expose you to your ideal career. Furthermore, having held a part -time position can give you an edge with an organization that you wish to work with in the future.
Many schools offer co-op programs or internships. This is an excellent way to determine if a particular career is right for you. A work experience option is advisable once you are in a program that supports your career objectives. Take this into consideration when choosing educational institutions. Click here for a list of Universities.