Many people have a wide and varied skill base. Using your skill and knowledge repertoire to find a job or jobs that are right for you. Image courtesy of iosphere at freedigitalphotos.net
At one time, many people followed not only just one career path, but this was a singular job, unlike today where many of us manage to simultaneously juggle several jobs. Also different today is that many people change the course of their career over their life-time. No longer do we necessarily settle down to one career path at 18 to 21, but at today, at many stages of our life we may reassess our chosen vocation. Many people are returning to higher education as mature-age students with career ambitions that have only just budded. This has occurred while many employers are now also looking for people with life experience and maturity, as well as there being the usual huge scope for young people.
What is common no matter what a person’s age is can be the question “What career is right for me?”
Many people can give you advice but in the end, as far as practicable, follow your heart. However, it is unfortunately possible to be too idealistic - sometimes the ‘perfect’ job in a country where unemployment rates are so high, even just finding a job that somewhat matches ‘your ideal’ is something that may need to be grabbed hold of. At least having a job is actually a luxury many people don’t have. Once you have established yourself in your job, you can refine your search – you needn’t tell your employer you are necessarily finding a career that fulfils more of your aspirations. However, while holding onto the security of having a job, you can privately search more avenues.
You needn’t feel you have to have just one job. Particularly with many people now being employed on a casual or part-time basis, it may be desirable to look for two or even three jobs, depending on other commitments you may have.
You don’t have to stay in one career for life. As stated many people are returning to studies later in life. People are also taking shorter courses, such as computer courses and hospitality to widen their skill repertoire. No training or education is wasted. All the learning you do gives potential employers reasons to see not only do you possess a wide variety of skills, but that you are eager to grow and extend yourself and that you are a highly motivated person.
It can be perfectly normal to not know what job is right for you. You may have many ideas of what would interest you, and that there is a large need for in the workplace. Vocational psychologists can help you by assessing what job is suitable for you based on your education, personality, life and work experience and the presence of other factors such as also being a parent, for example. You may come away at least with a clearer picture of what job may be right for you.
Sometimes you may feel you are at a career cross-roads. You have the benefit of being in a job that pays well, and therefore offers you financial security. However, for whatever the reason, you may no longer find it satisfying. When getting up to go to work feels like a grind and is hard to summon the motivation to do, this is another reason that while holding onto your present job for financial security, you may wish to undergo more studies part-time or ‘quietly’ look around for another vocation which inspires you more.
Volunteer work can give you an idea if a particular career path is one where you will find satisfaction and one you feel uses the repertoire of skills you have. Volunteer work also looks fantastic on your resume because it indicates motivation and initiative that you are willing to learn and gain experience without pay. This makes it more likely that employers feel you may do better in a certain position where you do get paid than someone who has not put themselves at there.
For whatever reason, in today’s economic climate, but with educational opportunities better than ever, with people changing jobs throughout a lifetime, juggling several careers, it is perfectly normal and desirable to reassess your vocation from time to time. After all, it is what you spend the majority of your time doing each day, and you have a lot of worthwhile skills which a fortunate employer is ready to appreciate!