Most things in life require hard work and patience. Finding the perfect career is no different. Whether you’re just out of college or at a career crossroad, finding a perfect match takes time.
It doesn’t have to take that much time though. If you’re in the midst of looking for a new career, there are steps you can take to make the process a smooth one. In fact, thanks to advances in technology and social media, you can go from career-less to a career you love in a relatively short amount of time. Follow the tips below to see how!
This first list should include everything from commute time to/from work, room for advancement, travel/time away from family and any other pros and cons. For instance, a person who isn’t married and doesn’t have children may be interested in a position that includes a lot of traveling. However, a person who is married and has children may look at time away from home as a drawback. Are you willing to relocate to a different city or state? Are you opposed to working long hours/weekends? There are many factors for you to consider. Making a list is a good way to help you begin narrowing down choices.
The second list should include activities you like to participate in and what you’re skilled at. Do you enjoy being outdoors or would you prefer to be inside? Are you good with numbers? Do you have the patience required to work with children? It’s important to consider all of these questions, and many more!
Update/Create a Resume and Cover Letter
While some hats come “one size fits all,” resumes and cover letters do not. Your resume and cover letter should cater to the job you’re applying for. A resume/cover letter for a job at a newspaper most likely would not be the same as what you would submit for a job at a bank. Be sure to note any extracurricular activities you participate in that could help you stand out against the competition. Don’t try to oversell yourself though; your best bet is to keep it simple and easy to read.
Take a Job for a “Test Drive”
Set up informational interviews with companies you have interest in. They’re generally pretty simple to set up and present a good opportunity for you to learn about the company without the pressure of an actual job interview. Be sure to ask questions specifically related to the lists you made.
If internships are available, they’re another great way to really get a feel for what life is like working at a particular company. As an added bonus, some internships are even paid. When your internship comes to an end, you might be offered a full-time position. Either way, informational interviews and internships are great ways to learn about individual companies.
Let Social Media Help You, Not Hurt You
Before you begin the process of sending out resumes, take a look at your social media accounts. At some point in time, you probably posted a picture or some other material that an employer may question. We’ve all done it. Your best bet is to keep profiles set to private so only those in your network can view your information. I also recommend Googling yourself. You may be surprised that a picture of you in high school or college is the first thing that comes up. A good rule of thumb to go by is to remove anything you wouldn’t want your parents to see.
Now that we’ve covered the downside of social media, let’s get to the advantages of social media. Websites such as LinkedIn present great ways to network and learn about the industry you’re interested in. If you have nothing on your social media accounts that could hinder your chance at a job, use your social media accounts to promote yourself. If you’ve got extra time on your hands, you could even start a blog to show off your writing skills and to help employers get to know you.
Nobody said finding a career that fits what you’re looking for would be easy. However, with a little work and patience, you can find a career that makes you happy.
Now it’s time to hear from you. What other tips do you have for searching for careers? Let us know in the comments below!