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How do I find a career that will suit me?

Ask a classroom full of children what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll receive some great answers – unfortunately most of them won’t achieve their dreams of being a doctor, a Premiership football player, an astronaut or ballerina dreams. As you progress through your education most of us will lean towards the subjects that most interest us, but transferring that to a career is not always simple.

If you’ve fallen into the wrong occupation and are looking to make a change, it’s never too late to switch direction.

Assessing your options 

The first thing is to get a few basics down on paper so that you can assess them clearly. Work out your likes and dislikes and what your main skills are. Because self-assessment can be a tricky process, it’s well worth using a career coach such as http://www.pitmancareernct.ie/ to point you in the right direction. Our Career NCT has been developed to help inspire those unhappy in their current occupations, confused as to what roles to apply for, those returning to work, leaving school, college or university and those that would like to take their career to the next level, but unsure of what that role would be.

Remember, it’s not about choosing the right answer, it’s about finding out which careers are right for your personality. Assessment tests can also help you quantify how you relate to other people and how you approach problem solving. Whether you feel you know where you’d like to be or not, you may find out something surprising about yourself or a career path you hadn’t previously considered.

These assessments come in all shapes and sizes and are only as accurate and useful as the information which you put in about yourself. Be brutally honest about your skills – it will allow you to see the areas in which you need to improve in order to achieve your aspirations.

Once you’ve completed some serious soul searching and got clear answers to those tough questions, be realistic about the options open to you. Going to university full-time or retraining simply might not be possible if you are a single mother, have large mortgage payments or care for a frail relative. Some careers cater better than others for people with special requirements, such as allowing time away from work for studying or allowing flexi-time to work around school hours.

Consider whether your ideal role is in the same industry you already have experience in. It is far easier to change jobs within the same sector and you may just need to find a more exciting company to work for. If not, what will you need to do to find a job in your chosen field?

Another important factor to consider is the amount of progression that a certain job or career path allows. Aiming for a job that will satisfy your needs now may be good for the short-term, but what about in five years’ time when you need to earn more and don’t have another rung on the ladder to reach for?

Back yourself to succeed

Now you’ve identified where you want to go, get on with it. Research the latest developments in your chosen industry, network as widely as you can at industry events and talk to people who do the job you want to do. You could even look for work experience or a part-time role to get your foot in the door. Make yourself an employer’s most attractive prospect by proving you are motivated, informed and know what you have to offer can benefit their business.

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