(BPT) – If you’re looking to start a career – whether it’s because you’re just beginning your journey as a working adult or because you’re ready for a change in life – you should know that the process is much larger than just getting a degree or certification and looking for a job.
A career involves knowing your interests in a particular industry or area, knowing what to expect as far as compensation and responsibility and researching what tools and knowledge you will need to be an asset for companies in that industry. It’s wise to begin your pursuit by educating yourself on what careers are in demand and what skills you need to enter those careers.
Bonus: investing in this knowledge will also make you stronger in the interview when you can speak directly to your interests, experience, transferrable skills, and what will make you an asset to the company
“Job seekers and students seeking a degree to build their skills need to take control of their careers,” says Abby Kohut, a human resources executive, recruiter and author of “Absolutely Abby’s 101 Job Search Secrets.” “They need to understand the connection between their education and a meaningful career by becoming more informed about where their interests lie, what jobs are in demand and what education is needed to gain the skills that today’s employers demand.”
Here are few simple steps that can help get you started:
1. Understand your interests – Some colleges and universities offer prospective and current students complimentary self-assessment options to help determine careers that fit their interests. For example, University of Phoenix offers Phoenix Career Services, a comprehensive suite of tools and services specifically designed to help prospective and current students make informed decisions regarding their career paths and educational needs. And the Career Interest Profiler helps students to identify professional interests in several areas, allowing them to plan ahead for paths of study.
2. Understand employer needs – Knowing what jobs will keep your interest going strong is a good start, but it’s also important to learn what employers need from workers in that field so you can take the right college courses and learn the appropriate skills. You also should learn what jobs are in demand in your field of interest, so you can assess whether your career of choice offers room to enter and grow. University of Phoenix’s Job Market Research Tool helps potential and existing students learn the demand and typical salary information in the current market.
3. Understand educational needs – Starting a new career often involves the need to return to school for a new degree so you can be more competitive when entering the job market. My Career Plan is a personalized roadmap that University of Phoenix students incorporate into their academic journey so they are developing the competencies that employers are seeking in the workforce today. And career preparation tools provide students with resume, cover letter and interview development services so they can put the best foot forward while job searching.
4. Understand your financial responsibilities – Schools will provide information on financial obligations and options, helping potential students determine if starting or going back to school is a viable option at the moment. Having a clear picture of the total cost and anticipated timing for paying off a college expense can help you set a budget as you pursue your new career goals. University of Phoenix, for instance, offers a complimentary Financial Plan designed to help prospective students estimate tuition and fees for their entire degree program and build a personal plan for how they will pay for it.
A new career is an exciting opportunity, and can provide a new look on life from income to social connections and even where you live. Just be sure to educate yourself before you jump into schooling so you can prepare yourself for the perfect career.