CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAY. 10, 2014
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How to Decide on a Career Field

It used to be that you had a job for life and then you retired. However times have changed and it is not unusual for someone to have several different jobs during his or her lifetime. It is important that you put thought into the career field that you choose. The path you start on will determine where you branch out and accept new opportunities in the future. Deciding on a career field can be overwhelming, especially if you have no idea what your interests are. If you have many interests, but don’t know how to figure out which one could best lead to a career field, there are ways that you can make an informed decision.

Sign up for Membership with the College Board

You can sign up for a free membership with the College Board, which is a non-profit organization that “connects students to college success and opportunity.” This organization is extremely helpful for students who are trying to decide on a career field. On their website, they offer the opportunity to explore various majors, find a college suited to your educational goals, research careers, create your personalised career plan and here from other students and mentors. Check out the College Board to sign up for an account and take a personality assessment. You’ll receive a detailed report on your specific personality type which can assist in determining the career field you’re most suited to. The report will also provide you with a list of suggested careers and majors which are a good fit for your personality and strengths.

Review the Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has created an Occupational Outlook Handbook which compiles a listing of hundreds of occupations. They have the occupations listed by field and also by three major categories—highest paying, projected fastest growing, projected most new jobs. For example if you’re checking out the profile of a Personal Financial Advisor, you’ll learn some quick facts in the online handbook. They list the median pay, which is currently, $67,520 per year and $32.46 per hour. It lists the entry level education required as a Bachelor’s degree. The other categories each profile lists are: work experience, on the job training, number of jobs, job outlook and employment change

Summary of Steps on How to Decide on a Career Field

# 1 – Take a personality test and discover who you are

# 2 – Ascertain your interests and what you like to do

# 3 – Determine your skill set and what you’re good at

# 4 – Do your research both online and in person

# 5 – Talk to older college friends to get their advice

# 6 – Review the Bureau of Labor & Statistics Handbook

# 7 – Sign up for College Board and create a career plan

# 8 – Keep a positive attitude and don’t give up

Remember that the best strategy is to stay clear headed and focused. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted from the main goal of figuring out the right plan for how you can decide on a career field. Check out the websites listed in this article and start planning your new career. Take a personality test, assess your interests, get informed advice and try to make the best decision for your professional life.

 

Photo Credit: Glob and Mail

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