Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Planning for Short Term and Long Term Goals

 There is a new banking commercial out right now that asks the viewer "will you be better off next year?", and I found that I stepped back and asked myself if I would be better off one year from now. Things don't get accomplished by just hoping things will happen. That is where goals come in.  Taking the time to sit down and actively think about what you want, how you want to accomplish it, and by what date, is surprisingly effective. By taking the time to plan your short term and long term goals, it will actually cause a shift in your actions because you will be acting in accordance with your PRIORITIES!   Short term goals can be simple, such as  " I want to complete all of my assigned readings the weekend before the scheduled class". Long term goals look 1-5 years in the future and can range from personal, professional, financial, academic or any combination of the above. Goals should be SMART, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Utilizing goal setting strategies can help you in your career planning process by helping you draw a map to success. Until you sit down to figure out exactly what you want, you may not have thought about the different steps required to meet that goal.

Where will you be next week? The end of the semester? One year from now? Five years from now?

Set goals now and you will be surprised with how much you can accomplish!

 - Becky W.
Sr. Career Assistant

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Making Career Decisions

Making career-related decisions can be one of the most challenging aspects of the career planning process. There are various factors you should consider when making such decisions. Our friends at Cosmic Coaching Centre wrote a great article for us with some important things to keep in mind:

Making Decisions about Your Career

Choosing a career is one of the biggest decisions we have to make in our lives. In fact, this decision of ours may determine the quality of life we are going to have, not only in terms of our finances, but also when it comes how satisfied we are with our lives. With that said, it is just right that we think a thousand times before deciding on which career path to take. This isn’t going to be an easy process, though, but if you could keep your focus on what really matters, you are likely to find the career that would suit you perfectly.

Factors to Consider in Making a Career Decision

Required educational level. Jobs may vary significantly in terms of the educational level required from job applicants. So if you don’t feel like going to school for 4 years to earn a degree, you may as well find a career that requires less. Take into consideration also the long-term education you may be required to have to retain your license.

Passion. This factor is often neglected by those who are merely after the security and financial stability a career can offer. But you have to understand that for you to stay long in a job, you need to be happy doing it. This is only possible if you use your passion as a basis of your career choice.

Skills and abilities. It’s good that you are passionate about something, but this passion won’t be enough to make you successful in your career. It is equally important that you have the skills and abilities required by the job. To know if you have what it takes to succeed in a particular job, use various skills assessment tools to test yourself. The results of such test will help you determine which skills you need to enhance more in order to be qualified for your desired career.

Personal life. If you are a fresh graduate, it won’t be that hard for you to choose a career that’s demanding, especially of your time. But for those who have families of their own, choosing a career is a bit more complicated. This is because conflict of interest is inevitable. If you are put in the second situation, you must seriously consider the demands of the job you’re going to get. You also have to be ready for however it may affect your personal life and relationships.

Career advancement opportunities. Ultimately, it is your goal to excel in your field. This means that you would be dedicated and committed enough to deserve a promotion perhaps. So when deciding among your career options, take a look at the opportunities for advancement that a certain career offers. This way, you may set your mind into achieving a higher career goal.

Career Services has several resources that can help you make these decisions, including career assessments like Career Cruising and Type Focus. These can be accessed for free through CareerZone!

 Also, check out the Occupational Research section of our website for directories and databases that have tons of information needed to inform these vital decisions!

Once you have narrowed down your career choices, you may want to conduct some Information Interviews to make sure the career is right for you! Our Career Resource Centre has some great tips for gathering the information you need to make decisions andtranslating that information into action. Best of luck!

Jami Coughler, Senior Career Assistant
4th Year Public Health [Honours]; BA: Sociology [Honours] '11  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reflecting on Your Ideal Career Options

If you have been following along with the Career Services blog over the past few months you have probably spent a lot of time considering the different types of careers you are interested in pursuing. Whether or not your career aspirations have changed, it is time to regroup and make a list of careers you have found that fit the needs and wants of your future professional life.

Grab a piece of paper (or open a Word document) and write down your top 10 (or top 5 if you have a short list) careers that you have found interesting and realistic. If you are still brainstorming careers then feel free to take or retake our self assessments which will give you some specific job titles that may interest you. Write down any additional notes (ie. 'needs further education', 'would need to move to find work') beside each of these careers.

By writing things down you will have an easier time reflecting on what you have learned. It will also help when revisiting your ideal career options in the future which is what we suggest you do every couple of weeks. You never know if you will be inspired by a specific class or professor in your final months at Brock so its wise to keep your options open and welcome any potential changes that may come in the future before graduation.

Record everything you find interesting and add or remove careers from your list at your leisure. Keep this list in a safe spot and continue to revisit it over the next few months.

If you would like to talk about your career options with us feel free to stop by the career centre!

Ashley Paolozzi, Lead Career Assistant
4th Year History of Art (Honours)

Friday, January 10, 2014

A different approach to learning about a career

The career decision process can be a daunting one, but there are ways to help you figure out which type of career will best suit you. Some ways to learn about the work environment of a particular career is to discuss the day of duties in that job. For example, information interviews are a great way to meet with a professional working in the field you too are interested in. Having the opportunity to ask a professional questions and tips about how they got to where they are, and the type of tasks they are involved with in a day, is an excellent way to get real world knowledge about a career.

Observing is another highly recommended method that will allow you to observe and experience firsthand what goes on in the workplace of a career you are interested in. A good way to do so is to volunteer or intern at a company or organization. Not only will you be learning if you are a good fit for the job, but you will also gain valuable work related experience that could open new doors in the future. Career Services has some great resources to show you where to start your volunteer or internship search; or visit Career Zone and Career Services’ website for online resources.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Navigating the Career Pyramid

     One of my favourite resources in the Career Resource centre is the job search pyramid. This neat little pyramid of knowledge breaks down the job search process into 5 easy to understand stages. For many students, searching for a job that will fit their unique talents and preferences can seem overwhelming, and the path to finding these jobs is not clear. The job search pyramid breaks down the search in to manageable bits such as  self-exploration services, research resources, conversations with professionals, site visits, and career try outs.  

     Identifying where you fall within the five steps can give you guidance on what to do at each new stage of searching, and what to do next. In my experience as a Career Assistant, I find that some students need to see a potential path in front of them before they have that "AHA!" moment.  This little pyramid can work wonders for clarifying your job search strategy and streamlining your searching to conserve your precious time and energy. You can come in and check out the pyramid any time 9-4:30 Mon-Fri and identify where YOU are in your job search!

Becky, Sr. Career Assistant
Third Year Tourism and Environment Student