New Grads: How Career Exploration Helps Your Job Hunt
By: Annie Favreau, Inside Jobs
College graduation season is in full swing. All over the country, droves of 20-somethings are starting their very first job hunt. For many career newbies, this can be an overwhelming process. With thousands of career choices and plenty of stiff competition, knowing where to begin can be a challenge.
Establishing a clear career goal is essential. If you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re looking for, your job search will be aimless. And that’s where a career exploration site can come in handy. By tapping into the resources on these sites—like job profiles, salary statistics, work environment—you can discover in-depth information and career direction. Here’s how:
Explore All Your Options
Even if you don’t know what kind of career you want, you probably know some of your skills and values. Are you good with people? Detail oriented? Happiest working outdoors? Career explorations sites often let you sort jobs by personality traits, skills, or work environment. By casting a net based on your own strengths, you can examine career choices that are both familiar and unusual—you might even find some that you’ve never even heard about.
The more options you know about, the better chance you have of discovering a career that’s a good match. In the big picture, finding a career path that fits who you are will be much better than pouncing on the first offer that comes your way.
Get the 411 on a Specific Position
When you’ve identified a job you’re interested in, it’s time to do some research. Start with the career profile to kick off a thorough investigation of the job’s general industry. Why? Having a good understanding of the ins and outs of the field will help you during your interview process. Plus, if you plan on scheduling informational interviews, this general knowledge will help you find and choose experts who can best answer your questions.
Map Out Your Next Step
Once you find a career you want, you might discover additional training—like an internship, certificate, or apprenticeship—is required. Or maybe you just need to start getting your name out there and apply for positions. Either way, career exploration sites can show you the best way to break into an industry and get the job you want.
Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a site that helps people discover a career they’ll love and build strong, successful futures. Join the career conversation on Twitter at @InsideJobs.