How do you know if you are on the right career path? There can be a big difference between what you are doing and what you should be doing. According to recent studies, Millenials today change job every 2 to 3 years whereas only a few generations ago it was uncommon to not stay in one profession for 30 years.
There is clearly more options today than before, which make it more difficult to choose the career path you want to be on. Often, your dream job may turn out to be a nightmare job! This guide aims to give you solid and actionable advice to help you choose the right profession and from there continue progressing to the next level.
It Starts Early
Your career doesn’t necessarily start in your early jobs – it starts at school. You may have noticed while in primary school you had a certain aptitude in an area of study. By the time you reach high school, you should be attempting to further refine those skills and see if they are marketable in the workplace.
The next step is to further develop those skills with a college degree or at a vocational school. Higher education isn’t just about more school, but it is about broadening your horizons, developing your network, and being in a safe place to learn, make mistakes, and continue to hone your skills.
Higher education comes in a number of different ways:
• Traditional university degrees, achieved over the course of three to four years
• Vocational college qualifications that certify you to work in certain disciplines
• Internship or apprenticeship positions, that offer skills and knowledge-based training to motivated workers
• Online courses that provide certificates that’ll help you get the top jobs you’re aiming towards
Perhaps most exciting of these opportunities are the new online courses that you can study anywhere with less geographic barriers. Schools such as Michigan Tech now offer an online civil engineering degree also in Canada.
Be Ambitious in Job Applications
Applying for jobs, especially your first job isn’t easy. Even if you’ve proven yourself over many years to be a disciplined and dedicated student, you’re still likely to experience your fair share of rejections along the way. It is important to not give up, and continue to be resilient in looking for the right job for you, and be the right person for the company.
To set yourself out from the crowd, helping to show your unique capabilities and charisma, make sure that you:
• Have an up-to-date, job-specific resume, designed to the highest standard.
• Have a functioning LinkedIn account, with connections and endorsements to help inspire confidence in your potential employers.
• Send applications via post with a personal letter attached to show a more attentive, personable side.
• Make the first move with your favorite companies, contacting them or even visiting them in their offices. Ask about vacant positions, even when they haven’t advertised them.
Once in a Position
Now that you have started your career, work to add value. Adding value isn’t just doing your job, but doing more than what you are paid to do. When it comes time to promotion, then it will easier for your boss to give the promotion to someone who is already performing at a higher level.
You can get this top-notch professional reputation under your belt by doing the following:
• Networking, and making the effort to speak to all staff members, building strong and friendly professional relationships with all who work around you
• Taking the time to come into the office slightly earlier than others, and leave slightly later, to show your dedication to the job at hand
• Be proactive in completing your work. Nothing can show you’re more adept at a job than completing your workload faster than all your colleagues
• Be assertive when it comes to pay rises and promotions – always make sure that you’re valued by your employers
• If you feel that you’re no longer being challenged at work, go ahead and tell your employer. They’ll give you more responsibilities, or on-job training, to progress you as a worker
With the kind of attitude outlined above, there will be very little to separate you from some of the country’s very highest performers – those who excel in any environment they’re placed in, and who manage to climb career ladders with ease.