Landing a job in your field of interest is a dream of many. The thing is, not all of us have a clear vision of what we want from our future careers. Many of us are still figuring out where we want to be in life and maybe feeling like we lack a sense of direction.
Fortunately, getting closer to your dream career is often a matter of changing the way you approach the process. Below, four actionable steps you can take today to prepare for your future career.
Decide on the career path you want to take
The first step you’ll need to take to get closer to your dream career is to identify what it is. Write down the skills, interests, and goals that you want to achieve. Then, consider how they relate to your primary career interest. Write down what it is that you like about that certain career and the advantages it has over other careers.
The goal of this first step is to eliminate any confusion surrounding your career path. It can help you choose your future career for all the right reasons and ensure you make the right decision. Once you’re certain about what you want to do, do some more research on your future career. Take a look at the job growth trends and learn more about different career levels. This will give you an insight into what you can expect in terms of earning potential and give you an idea of what you’ll need to do to move up the career ladder.
Look for potential employers
Once you’ve identified your personal and professional aspirations and decided on the industry you want to work in, it is time to consider potential employers. Nowadays, learning more about the company that interests you is easier than ever. With a couple of clicks, you can easily find out everything from a company’s reputation to job requirements for applicants.
Whether you’re a model looking to attend a casting Abu Dhabi or a graduate looking to land a teaching job in Beijing, it’s important that you immerse yourself in your potential future career and learn as much as possible about the employers and the industry itself. Even if you’re not ready to apply just yet, you can still learn a lot about job requirements. Be an active job seeker and check out all the open positions that spark your interest. Most companies can also be found on social media these days, so be sure to connect with them as well.
Talk to other professionals in the field
When contemplating an exciting new career, it always helps to hear from people who’ve “been there, done that.” Nowadays, you’ll find a number of different industry groups that you can easily join – both online and offline. Meetup.com and similar websites are great resources where you can find professional groups. Once you join them, you can browse different topics, attend virtual meetings, and listen to different speakers on a weekly or monthly basis. You can connect with other people who are interested in the same career area and even make some friends.
You can also chat directly with professionals in the field and ask if you can shadow them for several days. In doing so, you’ll see how your knowledge and skills translate to this new career. You’ll also learn about what you can expect on a day-to-day basis. This will ultimately help you determine whether you’re the right fit for the job and help you realize if this is indeed the career you want to pursue.
Work on your professional development
In an ideal world, the job seeker will fit the job description perfectly. In reality, however, perfect candidates don’t exist. Also, many of the requirements that are listed in the job descriptions are actually considered nice-to-haves. They’re basically wishlists companies make when recruiting. What this means is that you shouldn’t be discouraged if you don’t meet all the requirements. Generally speaking, you should feel free to apply if you meet 75% of the requirements listed in the job description.
Hands-on experience is a huge plus for job seekers, so make sure that you work on your professional development. Sometimes, that will mean volunteering, completing online courses, or earning a degree. Other times, it’ll involve applying for relevant part-time jobs, taking on adult internships, or freelancing. By building up your work experience, you’ll boost your resume and show the recruiters you’re right for the job.
Deciding on a career path is a big decision. It’s not something to rush into, nor is it something that should be taken lightly. Rather, it’s a process that requires a lot of preparation, research, and reflection. With these few tips in mind, you’ll manage to get closer to your dream career and make the entire process go much more smoothly.