When it comes to finding the right career fit, many factors should be considered. Whether you’re unsatisfied in your current position or excited about looking for a new opportunity, finding the right career fit could mean the difference between a leap forward and a leap backward.
On average, people will spend one-third of their day – or another way to look at it, half of their waking hours – at work. That’s a lot of one’s life aimed in one direction. What a gift it would be if that time could be spent in the company of good vibes, passion, satisfaction, and inspiring activity.
It’s no secret that what you do on a daily basis is what you become. You attract to yourself those experiences that you think about the most. Logically, you’re going to benefit from diving into those involvements that yield the higher rate of fulfillment. When satisfied, you’re more likely to be balanced, focused, and energetic.
How to Find the Right Career
Several actions can help you effectively and efficiently find the best career path.
Realize Your Strengths – You’re good at something, and, if given the chance, motivated to be your best at it. To understand your strengths, you have to analyze what puts that fire in your heart. What makes you eager to wake up each day? What energizes you? What keeps you engaged? What brings a sense of value to your life? Career tests can help you answer some of these questions by analyzing areas of strength.
Research Industries – After you’ve analyzed your strong points, research industries that allow you to bring these strengths to the work environment. Turning to sites that provide a detailed overview of careers from description of positions to average salaries and estimated future growth, you’ll have a firm grip on possible careers that could suit you.
Evaluate Transferable Skills – Chances are high that you have more skills than you realize. These skills, although tailored to a specific position you might have held in the past, could be transferrable to other positions. Transferable skills can be applied toward many positions. Examples of these skills are communication, problem solving, analytical, working in a team, being a change-agent, leadership, flexibility, motivated learner, and someone who pays attention to detail.
Acquire Skills – Once you’ve narrowed down your search to definite areas of interest, research specific skills and requirements necessary to enter the career field. If you need to gain more skills, you can volunteer, intern, request on-the-job training at your current position, take classes, or advance your degree.
How to Make the Change to the Right Career
Transitioning to a new career path requires patience and an openness to explore alternative routes to get on the right track. This can be accomplished through several methods.
Network – One of the best things you can do is get out and network with professionals in your field of interest. You can learn a lot from people already doing what you are passionate about doing, and you can gain great contacts within the industry.
Informational Interview – This involves talking with professionals who are already in the field you want to be in too. This offers you a great chance to ask questions and get advice from someone living and breathing the ins and outs of the business. You’ll gain a better understanding of the industry and walk away having made another contact.
Job Shadow – If you really want to get into the nitty gritty of the day-to-day functions of a job, shadowing someone is a great option. Spend a few days following someone doing the kind of work you think you want to do. You’ll gain a quick sense if the work makes your heart sing or not.
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If interested in learning more about UMBC’s ISD Graduate Programs and Certificates and a career in ISD, visit our career resources page.