Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's Time to Get Researching!

Whether you've figured out your career goals through self assessments or all on your own, the next step in the career planning process is research. Researching the career you hope to obtain one day is one of the most important steps in career planning. Not only do you gain more information about the direction you are heading in, but you also gain valuable knowledge about different aspects of the career you are pursuing and how to break into the industry.

You may be asking yourself, "Where do I look for this type of information?" or "How do I know where to begin my research?". It's a lot simpler than many think! Once you have established the career you want to pursue, the first step is to check the qualifications related to the specific position you desire and determine whether you meet them. A great way to find out what you need to work in certain industries is browsing through job boards. By doing this, you will learn valuable information such as:

  • Average Pay/Wage
  • Typical Duties/Responsibilities 
  • Education/Training Requirements
  • Experience Requirements 
  • Availability (Is the career in demand right now? Are opportunities scarce?) 
Many general job search sites will have this information for you. Here are a few examples to start your research:
Once you have figured out what is required of you to obtain the career of your choice, you may have to research post-secondary institutions for additional certification or training. Depending on where you live, all of this information will vary. However, a simple Google search of the training you will require should provide you with the information you need!

The second step is to network with other professionals in the field you wish to work in. Social media and information interviews are a great way to do this. Utilizing Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter for career research and networking is amazingly beneficial. You can look up professionals in the field and find out how they met their career goals as well as discover organizations or associations you wish to work at, or are curious about, to find out more information about them.

Information interviews involve setting up a meeting with someone already in the industry you wish to work in. This gives you one-on-one time with an industry professional, so be sure to plan your questions ahead of time! Brock students are fortunate to have programs like Cafe Connect to help with this, a mentoring platform that connects students with industry professionals. I highly encourage any Brock students to try it out! It helped me immensely with my own career planning! Check it out here: http://www.brocku.ca/career-services/students-alumni/mentorship-plus/caf-connect-2

Finally, don't be afraid to seek help with your research from your local career centre or employment centre. They are there to help you with this and can provide you with the resources and tools you need if you can't find the information you are looking for! Here at Career Services at Brock, we help many students and alumni with this process and encourage students and alumni to reach out to us! Also, be sure to check out how to organize your research by reading another great blog post here.

Now get researching everybody! And feel free to comment below on anything interesting you find out along the way about the career you wish to pursue! Have a great day!

Scarlet Stark
Career Assistant
Psychology Major 

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