If you are reading this blog, you might have just accomplished your educational goals and must now plunge into the job of career planning. I don’t mean the “decide what you want to do for the rest of your life, educate yourself and get a job in your field of study” type of career planning because if it was that simple everyone would have a job in their field of study. I mean the career planning that takes into account all the options, being open to taking risks and trying new and related careers.
Many students just finishing school have a lot of pressure put on them. Perhaps it is pressure from parents/spouses wanting them to get a job now and move on with their lives, or pressure from the burden of student loans waiting to be paid off, or even self-imposed pressure from the number of options out there and not knowing which road to take. At this point you may be feeling a lot of career uncertainty.
Career planning is a funny term because if you ask anyone out there how they ended up at their job you would find an endless number of people giving you a career path far from the “get an education, find a job in your field of study, live happily ever after”. So what to do…….
It takes a lot of soul searching to decide what to do next.
Taking into account such things as your values, skills, education, you could pursue many different careers. There are many theories as to which is the best approach to take. Some say take off for a few months, travel and explore. You need to clear your mind before jumping into a new career. Others say study the job market, network and don’t be afraid to try new things outside of your comfort zone. Whichever route you take, be open to opportunities as they present themselves or you might not recognize them as opportunities and you will miss a potential career path that you did not even consider in the beginning.
As I mentioned before, ask around and see what others have done. Jason started out working at a kid’s camp after completing a degree in kinesiology. This led to an opportunity to work with young offenders which led to managing a treatment program for young offenders and eventually morphed into a career as a probation officer. Jason originally wanted to go into the medical field but things did not go as planned. He was open to other opportunities resulting in his career taking a completely different direction. He found he liked working with kids and when he was not accepted into med school he stayed on with his “help pay the bills” job, proved himself with management and other opportunities opened up for him.
One motto which you should always follow is “whatever you do, be the best you can be”. If you are a sales associate be the best sales associate ever, if you are an IT technician be the best technician out there and if you are a Walmart greeter be the best Walmart greeter they have ever seen. You will likely not stay in the job you started out with but you will have explored many different career options, had many ups and downs despite always given it your best. The one you end up with will be the one that is the best fit for you.
Dawn Walker is a recent graduate of the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. MCACESBlogs is a series of blog posts related to job search and career development tips from Career Practitioner students and grads for the job seeking community. Like what you read? Be sure to follow MCACESBlogs today and share our posts to your network. Happy reading!