Career Exploration for a Rewarding Career

Career Exploration for a Rewarding Career

If you are a recent or soon to be high school or college graduate, you are probably scratching your head wondering what to do next. If you are a high school graduate, you may be interested in exploring different majors so that you can decide, which college, university, or vocational school is right for you. If you are a college graduate, you may be interested in exploring the many different types of jobs that are available to you now that you have earned your degree.

Making the right decision about your education or job choice is the first step toward a rewarding career. You can save yourself years of unhappiness by taking the time to research the different types of careers that are available to you, the economic outlook for those careers, the salary that you can expect to earn, and the advancement potential you can anticipate.

With tens of millions of jobs to choose from, planning your career can be a long and difficult road without the proper tools to research your career and education options. As a high school graduate, if you make the wrong choice about your major you could spend years earning a degree only to discover it was not the right career path for you. As a college graduate, if you make the wrong choice about your career you could spend years feeling trapped in a job because it was not the right career trajectory for you.

As an experienced career coach and resume writer, I have clients of all ages and career levels contact me to help them navigate their job search. Unbelievably, approximately 50% of these clients do not have a clear-cut job target, nor do they know that there are resources to assist them in making this very important decision. As a result, I provide my clients with the tools and resources they need to identify their career objective before we begin mapping out a strategy to help them get there.

With graduation time creeping around again, I wanted to share a few online resources with you to help you find the career that might suit you best. The Big Book of Jobs published by GM Career Books and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics says, "The key to a successful career search is to balance what you can do and what you want to do versus what employers expect in specific career fields. One way that most of us reconcile this dilemma is by first conducting an extensive self-assessment and then researching careers that match your personal profile". I could not have said it better myself. Below are a few of the free self-assessment resources that are available online.

1. The O*NET Computerized Interest Profiler is a vocational interest assessment instrument administered online that fosters career awareness and provides a window to the world of work via the 800+ occupations within O*NET Online.

2. O*NET Work Importance Locator is a self-assessment career exploration tool that allows people to identify occupations that they may find satisfying based on the similarity between their work values and the characteristics of the occupations.

3. The O*NET Ability Profiler is a career exploration tool that helps clients plan their work lives. Individuals can use the results to identify areas for which they might want to receive more training and education as well as identify occupations that fit their strengths.

Once you have completed a comprehensive self-assessment, you can begin researching careers that match your personal profile. Below are a few career exploration tools that are available online.

1. Inside Jobs is a free online resource dedicated to career exploration. There are thousands of job descriptions to help people identify what they want to do in their career. The job descriptions are fun to read and include salary ranges and work environment information as well as information on education and training needed to enter a specific job field. Users can also explore common career trajectories for a variety of job fields. The interactive media components of the website allow users to watch informational videos with real people sharing their personal experience about their career choice.

2. O*NET Online is an interactive application for career exploration and job analysis. The O*NET database contains information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors, which is available to the public at no cost, and is continually updated by surveying a broad range of workers from each occupation.

Even with the multitude of career exploration tools available, you may still find it difficult to make a career decision. As you peruse job descriptions that match your personal profile, make a list of the likes and dislikes of the jobs you have eliminated as well as a list of the likes and dislikes of the jobs that are still in contention.

For the positions that are still in contention, make notes about what makes these types of jobs attractive to you such as skill sets, opportunity for advancement and salary ranges. Think about other types of careers that share these same features and refine your research efforts to focus solely on these career fields until you reach a decision.

If you are still undecided about your career choice, consider setting-up informational interviews with professionals in your fields of interest to learn more about what the jobs entail and what you might expect should you decide on a career in one of those fields.

Reaching Your Goals With Career Builders

Reaching Your Goals With Career Builders

These days, you can hardly achieve any exciting career advancement without taking career builders. It is nearly impossible to just walk into an interview or ask for a promotion without bringing any proof of you value. A career builder is what can help you gain or increase that value. With a good career builder you will definitely become an employer head swinger.

Career builders can take a number of forms, and the usual type include training, seminars, workshops and continuing education. If you willingly and actively participate in these activities, you are sure to get an edge over others.

If you are looking for a job, you may simply document (with evidence) in your resume the skills you acquired in the builder programs. These might be enough to convince your future employer of you value and you do not even need to be interviewed. In case you are currently employed, taking a career building program can help improve the package of skills and services that you can offer to your employer. Whether it is an improved work attitude or new skills, the employer will definitely notice you more.

When you inform your employer of your participation in career building programs, you are not only giving a hint that you have become more capable, skilled and updated in your field. You are also giving an indication that you are committed and eager to advance your skills and knowledge for the benefit of the company. An employer loves no one better than an employee who is always open to change and improvement.

Although the benefits of participating in career building programs are obvious, some people have trouble choosing the right ones to take. After all, there are a good number and various types of programs out there. You do not want to get stuck taking the wrong one. How can you tell which program is good and appropriate for you?

The best way to discover the best career building programs for you is to ask a career counselor for his opinion. Career counselors have been especially trained to find out the work strengths and weaknesses of a person. This will allow him to work with you to create a tailor-suited career planning for you.

Some people may require a gradual, long-term continuing education program. For others though, a less demanding form may achieve similar results in career advancement. The latter may include a one-day seminar on writing business letters, resumes and corporate memos, or some short courses about how to dress properly, how to speak in public and how to make simple presentations. Sometimes, a programs may help you achieve some improvement without actually being known as a career builder, such as seminars that teach you the simplest day-to-day business basics.

You can never be too confident about bagging a job or position that you want. Often, the right career builders are simply the key, and your open-mindedness about participating in these programs can spell the difference between career failure and success. So, get yourself ready for opportunities that will help your career development in the long run.

Career Advice: How're You Doing On Your Job?

Career Advice: How're You Doing On Your Job?

Career Advice: How Are You Doing On Your Job?

How are you doing on your career path? Far too many individuals have to reply: "I don't really know; okay I guess."

Career success requires answers.

Answers are not available when employers don't have feedback systems; many who do, don't use them effectively. The result: a huge problem for employers as well as employees.

Common sense says every organization ought to have in place an organized system for evaluating employees and letting them know where they stand on their career path.

How can people build their strengths and correct their shortcomings if they don't know what they are? How can they do their best work if they don't understand what is expected of them?

Five Career Tips For Effective Feedback

An effective feedback system includes these five points:

1. The manager and the employee discuss and agree on specific duties and expectations (i.e., goals).

2. Both parties agree on how achievements will be measured and rewarded. This step includes an understanding as to when and how the measurements will be taken.

3.The manager provides mid-course checkups and corrections on a regular basis.

4. At the end of a predetermined period, performance is appraised against the agreed-upon standards of measurements. Both positive and negative results are discussed candidly.

5. Career rewards are given according to achievements of agreed upon goals. If there are problems with performance, the employee should be advised of improvements that must be made, within a given time frame, along with an explanation of what will happen if corrections are not made.

Put the results of this five-step process in writing.

Career Tip: Performance Feedback Is Not An Easy Process

There is nothing easy about this process. However, if executed properly, it doesn't have to be painful. In fact, it can be a time of renewal and improvement.

This all makes common sense, doesn't it?

Then, why don't more companies have evaluation systems in place? Why don't those who have them do a better job executing them?

First, strange as it may seem, managers often don't have a clear enough picture of their employees' duties, or how they will be gaged, to put them in writing.

Frequently, managers don't take the time to evaluate their employees and help them when they drift off course. Instead. They wait until it is crisis time.

Career Tip: Praise and Constructive Criticism

An effective system for evaluating performance includes both praise and constructive criticism presented in an even-handed manner.

Achievements should be rewarded according to set standards. However, it is a mistake to reward incompetence. When employees receive awards, even after failing to reach their goals, the system begins to fall apart and failure becomes acceptable.

If an employee is fouling up, he should be told. It is unfair and unwise for the manager to ignore the small mistakes until a major one occurs and a major confrontation takes place.

Career Tip: Ask For Regular Appraisals

What should you do if your employer doesn't have a stated evaluation system or has one and lets it languish?

Screw up your courage and act.

If you are in a position to do so, take a lead in instituting an appraisal system. If you can't do that, at least suggest to your boss that the organization would be better off if it had a system for evaluating and rewarding all of its employees.

Even if there's not a system for all employees, ask your boss for an individual performance appraisal... pluses and minuses.

Tell the boss you want to learn and grow. Explain that the only way you can advance toward your career goals is to know what you are doing right and wrong and receive career coaching accordingly.

If your boss has his wits about him and is at all interested in his own career, he will recognize that you are exhibiting strength and ambition, not weakness, when you speak up on this vital issue. He will appreciate that you are trying to learn more, do more and earn more.

The Ever Changing World of Careers

The Ever Changing World of Careers

You can choose Your career
Are you one of the many people who don't feel pleasant with your current job or career? Have you worked in one career for many years, and found yourself burned out? Or do you feel that your life is not what it could be, because you can't take out your full potential in the job or career you are in? Changing careers and jobs is indeed an issue that concerns many of us. What's really amazing me is the fact that many people - myself included - are continuing in the same job or career year after year, even though they are sick and tired of it and really want to quit their jobs and start up with something else. I think this grounding is a part of human nature: it's a comfort zone that is difficult to climb out of, using arguments as "I know the job I have, but not which job I'll get."
Before I finally took the step that I had considered for years; quit my job and starting a new career I did like most people; I waited so long that I was almost forced out of my job because of sickness and tiredness. But when I first took this step and started in my new career, more and more I realized that this job change should have been done much earlier. Like many other people who are establishing work at home careers or jobs, I had to admit that this was my dream job.
Even if you're forced to start a new career, you decide which
I was one of the lucky guys who chosed to change my career. But not every worker is that lucky. In this ever changing world, and especially after the internet came - the job market has changed tremendously. Now the rule is change and stability is an exception. Many work tasks are obsolete because automation has taken over, which means that many jobs are not needed any longer. This forces many working people to find another job or career. Sometimes the alternative to a career change is welfare, and who wants that? The turmoil of the 'new economy' job market creates new jobs every day, while old jobs are falling into abandonment. What you can choose however, is which career or job you want to change to.
Values impact career choices
Another trend in the job market is that the need of self realization and prioritizing soft values seem to be knocking out the importance of money as a measurement of life quality. This can be preferences of staying home more with partner and kids, more leisure time, etc. As people grow older they often choose to focus on other things in life than job and career, such as time to spend at home with spouse, kids and more leisure time.
Follow your career dreams
Everybody should be able to pick the career or job they want, thus taking out their fullest potential for the benefit of themselves and others. Everybody should follow their inner voice and do what they always have wanted to do in their lives. To jump info a new job or career is a challenge - at least in the beginning. You have to go through a period of uncertainty or insecurity. You have no guarantees for anything in life, however. And the fact is that you have no guarantee to keep a job or career either, so why not look upon this fantastic opportunity to start a new career as an exciting and joyful challenge? There are many sources ready to support you during the career transmission, like career coaches, outplacement services and career counselling in general. Get yourself a career or job mentor, this person can be the most valuable person you ever get in touch with.
When I quit my job as a business consultant and started to work at home as an internet publisher, it didn't take me much time to realize that I had made the best choice ever. I think the separation of job and private life is artificial; there is only one life. Work is a part of it, and joy is a part of it too. For me, my work is a joy and joy is what life should be for all of us.
Terje Brooks Ellingsen is a writer and internet publisher. He runs the website Terje is a Sociologist who enjoys contributing to the personal growth and happiness of others. He tries to accomplish this by writing about self improvement issues from his own experience and knowledge. For example, development of careers for self realization and work at home careers for achieving financial independency.

Teach Overseas As A Career Stepping Stone

Teach Overseas As A Career Stepping Stone

Teaching abroad is a wonderful and challenging experience that many educators take advantage of in order to broaden their cultural horizons and immerse themselves in a foreign culture, but it has other advantages as well. While many teachers eventually return to the United States to continue their careers, others find that they love their new locale so much they opt to continue to teach in their adoptive country. For others, there are a variety of other career opportunities available that they can take advantage of. Some educators teach overseas as a stepping stone to a high-powered corporate position, government role or diplomatic post.
The Many Career Benefits Of Overseas Education Jobs
Why are these teachers in such high demand by international businesses? Because they've acquired a very specific set of skills that make them ideal employees for branch offices in other countries, including:
Cultural awareness. Sensitivity to the moral and social mores of another country is critical to successfully conducting business.
Local awareness. Educators become intimately aware of their surroundings and are able to navigate the confusing streets of their new city quickly and safely, and instruct other expatriates how to do the same.
Language fluency. No one can speak a foreign language as fluently as a native speaker, but individuals who have been immersed in a particular language for months at a time come in a close second.
Diplomacy. Experienced teachers have navigated the complexities of a new language, new rules and regulations for teaching and the political wilderness of international school systems, and can teach those skills to individuals in the business and diplomatic worlds.
Overseas Career Opportunities Abound If You Like To Teach
What kinds of genuine job opportunities are available for instructors who have lived overseas? The most obvious is often a position within the organization they've been teaching for. Once the initial contract is over, the hiring company or school system may ask you to stay on in an advisory capacity or to teach others how to instruct students in foreign school systems. International businesses often hire teachers to teach their employees who aren't yet fluent in a foreign language but who need to be able to navigate their way through business deals with international clients or companies.
Cultural exchange programs often hire educators to be facilitators or contact points for students who are studying abroad. And the tourism industries in various countries often hire United States citizens who can successfully lead, educate and entertain foreign tourists in two or more languages. Government organizations such as the United Nations always need experienced individuals to represent them in foreign ports as translators, cultural liaisons and more.
Don't forget that there are thousands of Americans living and working overseas who need a nanny or au pair to assist with child care and early education. Individuals working for these high-powered executives and their families often become a part of the family who are able to take advantage of many opportunities to travel to surrounding countries on vacations and take advantage of other personal perks.
Whether you want to continue to teach indefinitely or you're looking for a way to improve your international resume, teaching in foreign countries is a great way to get started.
Many AIDC educators teach in Abu Dhabi before moving on to exciting opportunities with international companies in the United Arab Emirates and other prosperous Middle Eastern countries. To discover current opportunities, visit the AIDC website.