Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Always Do Your Research!

So you've self-assessed! You now know ALL about yourself, exactly what you want to do and exactly how you're going to do it! ...right? Well, for some of you it might have been that easy to figure it out, and that's great! We're happy for you! But for those of you who are still unsure, you're on the same side as most of us. Sure, we might have an idea and various options for career and/or educational pathways now  (I put mine on a flow chart :D), but it doesn't end there. Before you DECIDE on a career pathway, it's always important to first do your RESEARCH.

Ask yourself...

Is this Pathway the right FIT?
  • Am I willing to proceed with Further Education or is Direct Employment right for me?
  • What are the job responsibilities?
  • Am I cut out for this type of work?
  • What else is out there?

Do I have the right EXPERIENCE?
  • Will I need experience before entry-level positions?
  • How can I gain that experience now (volunteering, internships, part-time jobs)?
  • What are the skills and knowledge requirements of the position?
  • Is there room for professional development and on-the-job training?
  • Am I looking for advancement opportunities? Is that available to me within this field?

What is the Typical WORK ENVIRONMENT?
  • Will I be working inside/outside? With children, with people older than me? Alone?
  • Am I adaptable?
  • How much will I be making? How do raises happen?
  • Is there a demand for this type of work?

Who HIRES for this type of work?
  • What should I know about the field? The company/organization?
  • How should I prepare to apply?
  • How do I ask/prepare for an interview?

And always the BIG ONE:
  • Will I be granted a pension? Benefits?

While these questions might be simple and provide you with the  little details, the affects of the answers can have some pretty great affects in the long run.

Here are some things to remember...

1. Do what is right for you. Job earnings are important, but don't let the dollar sign cloud your vision when it comes to deciding on something you know will make you happy.

*That also goes for career choices and graduate school. Some people will refrain from doing a Master's program or Post-Graduate Degree because they feel like they should be done spending money, and instead earning it. My motto is "short term pain for long term gain" - anything extra we do now will only make it easier to pay off those student loans later on.

2. While it's important to  be qualified for a position, don't let that stop you from applying to jobs of interest. Hey, you might not meet all of the job requirements, but maybe nobody did! You could still be the best applicant. If you tailor your resume and cover letter right, you could come out a shining star in their list of candidates. So come on into the Career Resource Centre for a review, and then get on out there!

3. Your work environment should never be compromised. You will be talking to these people, seeing these walls, and smelling these smells more often than you'll ever be seeing your family, your walls or the smells in your household. Make sure it's going to work for you. And if it doesn't, next!

Check out our website for some more tips and handy links for researching here. And remember, drop by the centre anytime between 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday and Ashley or I will be happy to discuss your research with you, or even help you get it all started!

See ya then,

Brittany :)

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