“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Although pursuing your career is a never-ending process of exploration, this famous quote from Mark Twain is highly applicable to the third stage of the Career Exploration process: Finding Your Fit. As career explorers, you must find out which occupations are the best fit for your lifestyle, interests, and goals.
If you are following our Career Exploration blogs this is the third one, then you should have completed a self-assessment (step one) and career discovery (step two). You now have knowledge about your skills and the labour market prospects for your occupation. Keep in mind, the more preparation and research you do, the better equipped you will be to succeed in your career exploration.
You have now compiled a list of occupations which interest you. Its now time to make your shortlist and explore what types of jobs you want. You may have a long list of possible careers after completing the career discovery process. Use a process of elimination by determining the pros (positives) and cons (negatives) of each career choice. Slowly make your way down until you have decided on the jobs which will be your best fit.
Opportunities and Challenges
Think about the opportunities and challenges for the jobs you are considering. These can range from personal, financial, or even professional reasons.
Personal reason: one person's opportunity may be another person's challenge. For example, a person who enjoys being outdoors may love working in a national park; while the person who dreads spending time in sunlight may be thinking the opposite. We can also consider the university student who may think working in the evenings is a perfect opportunity, while an evening job may be a challenge for a parent who needs to be home in the evening to care for two children.
Professional reason: consider if you are able to immediately jump into your desired career. Often times, you may need to pursue training or work experience in order to get to your dream job. If the process to get to that job is too long, it may be considered a challenge. Furthermore, look at the long-term outlook of your chosen career. This is likely to be dictated by the local labour demands. Pursuing a career with increasing demand often means there will be more job openings – a major opportunity!
Financial reason: consider if the starting salary is enough for you to meet your immediate financial demands. Generally speaking, low wages are seen as negative points – but you may end up working in some low-paying jobs before you acquire enough experience to get to your dream job. Understand your financial situation and determine if this job will provide financial stability to support your lifestyle.
Jumping into your desired career field may not be immediately feasible. As a result, it is recommended that career explorers determine a few related careers. Related careers are jobs which may be similar to your desired occupations. This may be because the similar skills, education, or experience used in one job can be transferred to another. A career may also be considered “related” if it is in the same field or category.
For example, an aspiring Dentist can work as a Dental Assistant to gain workplace experience, or an Accountant can work as a Bookkeeper to while studying in school. The main thing to consider is that the desired and related career are generally similar in experience or education needed. Pursuing a related career can often be a stepping-stone for someone to reach their desired career.
Please use the National Occupation Classification (NOC) as is a useful tool for your career exploration process. It will provide you with a list of related careers when you are conducting your research, and the employers created job postings by using the NOC codes.
Stop… and reconsider
Finding your fit means that you are identifying the job which is best suited to meet your personal, professional, and financial demands. This is a long process which may involve a lot of research.Sometimes, your initial choices may turn out to be incompatible with your current situation. In these cases, you will need to reconsider your career choices. Head back to step two and try again from a new angle.
Now that you’ve identified your ideal career, it’s time to come up with a plan so that your dream job becomes your real job. In the next blog, we will be examining how to set goals in order for you to realize your dream career!