Tips for a Successful Career and Job
We all know that during a double-dip recession people will lose their jobs, the economy revives a bit and then more people lose their jobs. Whether you are worried about losing your current job or you have been out of work for months, you may be nervous about getting or keeping a job. With unemployment averaging 7.9% , the job market is rough, and there are many job seekers competing for a relatively small number of positions. When you’re applying for employment, you must make sure that you keep your mind open.
Career and Job Success Tip #1 – An Open Mind
When job hunting, most people are looking for a position just like the one they just left. While you know that you are definitely qualified for a position like that, you may not be aware of the fact that you are limiting yourself in many important ways. For example, if you were declared redundant at your old job, there is no guarantee that a new company will be any kinder. It is possible that you are in a shrinking field. Imagine the plight of leather buggy whip makers after the advent of the “horseless carriage.” The smart ones found jobs making something else like leather boots, leather wallets, leather belts, etc., rather than continue to look in a shrinking field. So to be truly effective, you have to expand your horizons and look in fields that you never considered before.
Remember that there is no such thing as a useless skill. When taken in a broad context, every skill is useful, and there is a job out there that requires it. The job may not be one that you want to do, but you may also find that when you take it apart like this, you are qualified for far more than you ever dreamed of!
Career and Job Success Tip #2 – Evaluate Your Own Skills
If you want to keep an open mind, look beyond the technical definitions of your skill. For example, if you know how to run certain types of machinery, what does it mean beyond the obvious? This may mean that you are capable of working well under pressure, that you learn quickly and that you are physically dexterous. It may also mean you are capable of learning difficult operations and could easily learn to operate other types of machinery or even computers. These are all qualities that are sought after in many different types of employment situations, so cast your net a little wider.
Think about the skills you have. The skills that you used at your previous job are not the only ones that matter, and that is an essential thing to consider. Think about the skills you use in your day to day life, whether they earn you money or not. For example, think about what it takes to get you through the day from the time that you get up to the time that you go to bed. Is there something that your family relies on you for? Is there a skill that you are proud of? Do you collect stamps and catalog all of them in a database? Perhaps you could get a job in an office entering data into a database. Do you enjoy gardening? Perhaps you could get a job with a local landscaper, etc.
Career and Job Success Tip #3 – Seek Counseling
Start talking with your friends and family and ask them about what kind of jobs they could see for you. You may be surprised by some of the answers that they provide. This might also be the time to head to a free job counselor. There are many services like this, especially in larger cities, and if you go in with an open mind, you never know what kind of jobs you might be considering when you walk out. You can also find online skills assessment tests and interest assessment tests that can help you discover the right path for you.
Career and Job Success Tip #4 – Upgrade Your Skills
When you are between positions might be the perfect time to upgrade your education skill-set, either through going back to school, (online or on campus) or taking some additional vocational training. This way employers will see that you are interested in improving yourself and that you are flexible and aren’t willing to just sit around and collect unemployment. This will also help fill in the gaps in your resume and make it look even better.
Don’t be afraid to seek help when you are thinking about trying some new fields of employment. While being unemployed is terrifying, you owe it to yourself to make the most of this difficult time. You never know when your dream job is waiting just around the next corner for you, so open your mind and start exploring other Careers .
Photo Credits: By US Department of Education
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