08 May Ten Suggestions on How to Do Career Research
Next Steps: How To Do Career Research
In my last post I spoke about Possible Selves. Once you’ve identified one or more Possible Selves, it’s time to do a little career research. Here are ten ways you get get going and find out more:
1. Job Ads
Job Advertisements are a great lesson in how to do career research. They will give you a breakdown of what you will be doing day to day, as well as ballpark salaries, the qualifications and experience needed and the main employers. This is a great place to start as it ticks the money box – if your possible career doesn’t pay as much as you need you can just cross it off the list. Job sites like Jooble are a good place to start.
2. Other People
Don’t forget the awesome power of networks, both in real life and online. Put out the word that you would like to speak to someone who does X and I would bet money on it that someone knows someone who knows someone who does it. You can then ask for a quick phone call, offer to take them for a coffee to find out more.
3. Read Industry Publications
Once again these will also give you helpful jobs ads, but you’ll also get an idea of the current topics and issues around that industry. Every type of work has its own publication – often more. In PR it’s PR Week for instance, in hospitality it is Hotel and Caterer magazine. Sometimes a lot of the content may be behind a paywall but you should be able to read enough for free to help you glean some useful information.
4. Find Yourself Some Role Models
Start following people within that industry on your social media channels and read their posts. If you want to get into law, follow lawyers, if it’s blogging, what can you learn from those at the top of their game?
5. Watch TV Shows
Whilst these will probably give your chosen profession a bit of glamour that may not be there in reality, they may also give you some ideas of what it’s like to work in that industry or at least inspire some helpful questions for when you get in front of someone. Reality TV shows are especially helpful here
6. Shadow Someone
Job shadowing is a great way to really see what happens day to day. I previously interviewed the founder of job shadowing service ViewVo here, so read this for some great tips on how to go about it
7. Look at College and University Courses
Even if you won’t need to go back to education to start off in the field, looking at the courses for that area will give you an idea of some of the issues or areas you will be working in
8. Look at Industry Bodies
Many industry bodies run evening events, have a website ans publish up to date industry stats on the number of jobs, salaries and current issues. These can be very useful – sign up for the mailing list if they have one
9. General Web Research
The problem with research on the internet is that it is bottomless. You can go on forever, The best way to approach this is to give yourself a time limit and see what you can come up with an afternoon/day/week
10. Present a Report
Treat this as if you were going to create a report to someone, but with one caveat. If you come across a few things that make you think this career is not for you, abort. Don’t waste your time if you’re not at least half serious about considering this. If you have done all this, collate your findings and do an analysis which will include prospective salaries, the education or training you’ll need, the day to day details and activities you’ll be doing and the current industry issues and trends. Finally, in your summary, how you feel about this?
There you go, some ideas on how to do career research that will keep you busy for a while!