Trying to pick a career path can be an intimidating prospect. Your career is your livelihood. It is the way you pay for your lifestyle and also an enormous part of how you spend your everyday life. So, deciding on a career path and knowing how to pursue it might be difficult in theory. However, this article aims to show you that the processes involved aren’t actually all that scary. Read on for more helpful advice.
Pick a Career
When you are looking to enter the professional world your first task is to settle on a career that works for you. There are plenty of possible options and although your existing skills matter, the main point is that you pick a career you think you will truly enjoy doing. After all, your career will take up a massive portion of your life, you need to be sure that it is one that you will be content with doing day in and day out. Consider the following:
There is a shortage of teachers around the world. The kind of caring, loving people, who are able to work with a group of youths to help them learn essential life skills are a rare breed. This means that anyone interested and capable of being a teacher is essential to keeping the system going.
If the idea of traditional employment sounds terrible to you and you would rather go to work by yourself, then you might want to consider the possibility of freelance work. Of course, where there are benefits, such as setting your own working hours, there are also drawbacks. Freelancers often have to fight to find work—and then work hard to keep it.
Alternately, if you are looking for work that is heavy on the hands-on approach, then you might like the idea of working as a plumber. It is based around a technical skillset and generally pays well without the expectation of ridiculous hours. However, it can often involve work with areas that some people are more squeamish about, so consider carefully if it is the job for you.
Get an Education
Once you’ve settled on a path you want your career to take, you can start thinking about how you can make that happen. More often than not, some level of education would be helpful in securing your ideal career path, but so long as you know what you’re pushing towards, finding education that is relevant shouldn’t be too hard. In fact, you’d generally have a few options:
Go to University
Probably the most well-respected option, when it comes down to it, is for you to get a university degree. These show that you have gone through the most rigorous level of schooling on a specific and specialized topic and have come out the other side. There are plenty of university courses available to pursue as well—from an astrophysics degree to a masters in business management online, there are plenty of different paths you can take when attending university. So, sticking to your career plan is often your best bet.
Get an Apprenticeship
As prestigious as the university is, the courses involved are often lacking in hands-on career knowledge. These are the kinds of technical skills that you only truly refine and excel in once you have spent at least six months working on them. This means that, while university prepares you intellectually for a career, it can often fail to instill the same level of mechanical and technical skills as you could gain by just working in the field for that same amount of time. This is why apprenticeships are so beneficial, especially in fields where hands-on skill is pretty much all that matters. After all, while it is nice for an electrician to know how electricity works, what is important for their job is that they know how to work with electronics, and while an apprenticeship teaches both, it will focus far more on the application of skill than university.
Build Specialist Skills
With general training under your belt, you might want to think about whether or not you want to go into a specialist area within the career you are looking at. If you do, then it might be worth pushing a little further in terms of education and getting specialist skills that would help boost your ability and qualifications within the area you want to work.
Work on Your Branding
The next point that you need to start thinking about is branding. People tend to consider branding through the lens of business specifically, but in reality, the techniques used to build a brand that businesses employ are useful for anything—or anyone who is looking to build a strong reputation and use that reputation to their advantage. In this way, branding could actually be extremely useful to you in finding work within your preferred field.
One of the most important branding tools available to a professional looking to break into any field is LinkedIn. Social media of any kind can be brilliant for building a brand, but LinkedIn exists specifically for professionals and facilitates that kind of branding far more than other websites.
Start Building Experience
Finally, if you are truly looking to knock the ball out of the park with your qualifications, then you might want to start thinking about the different ways that you could start building up experience within the field. Employers love experience; it tells them you already have a sense of the working environment you are entering, which is a strong positive in your favor. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you might be able to build up some experience quickly.
For example, one highly effective way to build up quick and reliable experience is to request unpaid work experience. This means that the workers can show you the ropes, while you learn the trade and offer free assistance to them on more difficult jobs. Overall, the whole arrangement can work out well for everyone involved.