Career exploration is no easy process.
The career exploration process can be split into 5 stages and career exploration needs to cover a number of topics if you want to have the best result.
Let’s not confuse career exploration with job searching either, they are different. The career exploration needs to be fully completed before you set off on your job search.
Effective career exploration results mean that you reach your desired goal, one which might be:
- to choose the right job that will inspire, challenge and reward you
- to find a career that reflects the person you are.
- to pick a job that matches your natural style so you are more productive, happier and less stressed
- to select a position that suits you
In working towards this goal, career exploration will take you through at least five stages with their own individual action plans and objectives.
Each stage is an essential part of the career exploration process and should not be taken lightly. Sometimes these stage milestones are accomplished overnight and occasionally they take somewhat longer and demand more time and energy.
- Complete the MBTI® questionnaire which can help you understand yourself better, and thus for instance be very helpful for making decisions during career exploration
- Giving yourself the benefit of a full self-assessment appraisal will help
- Ensure you don’t overlook, ignore anything or take for granted simple things that you enjoy or like
- Understand how and where you spend your time
- Remind yourself about all your successes, accomplishments and achievements, essential for CV writing, interview preparation and maintaining your confidence
- Of course you need to know what you want to do and where you want to be so by understanding yourself, recognising your successes and being clear about what gives you job satisfaction you can start to explore job options
- Explore job profiles, sector specific, career industry sites for selected information on career families and employment trends to get an idea on what different roles entail
- Think short and long term goals and take action on your plan, working out how to achieve these goals
- Use the internet wisely and research carefully
- Talk to as many people as you can who are related to the field of work you are interested in
- Establish priorities and prepare short-lists of interesting possibilities
- Don’t forget to visit local libraries and use their resources which include the librarians themselves
- Make a list of personal contacts and local/national networking groups both on and off-line. Devise a strategy of how you will use your networks
- Convey energy and enthusiasm for your goal and share with your network contacts
- Emphasise your abilities, successes and potential to learn quickly
- Listen and learn; it’s not all about you talking and telling
- Conduct a logical analysis of career alternatives; weigh pro’s and con’s of each
- Base decision making on your values and interests alongside your practical skills and abilities
- Meet your deadline and take the decision sensibly. Once it’s made tell everyone.
[pullquote]“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” Brian Tracy[/pullquote]
So you’ve completed the career exploration now start working on your CV and job search strategy.
Do you need support? Read Get That Job, the art of successful job hunting which has specific exercises and tools for the career exploration process.