Step One – Plan:
Most people spend more time planning a one to two week vacation than they do planning their lifetime career. When planning for a vacation, you look at where you want to go, what your reason is for wanting to go to that particular place, how long it will take to get there, whether or not you want to take any side trips, what type of budget you will need, and what type of clothes you will need to take. You may also speak with people who have been there to find out a little more about the destination and activities or do some research on the internet or at the library or a travel agency.
It is important to do the same type of planning for a career. You need to take a look at where you want to go and how you are going to get there. You will need to look at: whether or not you need post-secondary education or some type of training. How long will it take you to get the skills you need? What is the best way to get these skills? What kind of money do you require for the life style you want? Think about whether or not you know anyone who is currently working in this field or if you know anyone who knows anyone working in this field. Where else can you go to find out more information?
If you are still in school, speak to a guidance counsellor and ask for information. You can also do informational interviews with people working in the field you are interested in. Another option is speaking with a career counsellor or doing some career tests.
If you are out of school, contact an employment agency to speak with a counsellor or do some personal research at the library as well as networking and making good use of your contacts.
Step Two – Prepare:
Preparing for your job search involves doing a thorough personal inventory to determine your transferable and adaptive skills. Learning more about your skills prepares you so that you will be able to tell an employer the skills you have that match the job that you would like to have. This takes time. It may involve completing a questionnaire or sitting and writing down all the things you have done over the years. This is not simply listing your job description, as most people do more than what is listed on the job description, it also involves activities that you do at home.
Most of us take our skills for granted. We are so used to doing certain tasks that we do not recognize that not everyone can do what we are doing. We also do not always recognize the skills we are using in our daily activities