Before starting your job search, you need to know what type of job you want to pursue. So, you decide to explore several areas, both inside and outside the industry in which you've been working. First, you research several industry trends using the Internet, newspapers, and trade journal articles. Then, you look at job listings to help you understand what challenges these industries currently have and who is hiring.
The word "industry" refers to an industry, a job field, or both. For example, you may define the type of work you are looking for by naming an industry such as health care or food service. Or it may make more sense to describe it by naming a job field that exists in multiple industries, such as information technology or accounting. In some cases, you will narrow your definition to include industry and job fields, such as health care accounting. Think of your industry as being the phrase you use to complete the sentence, "I'm looking for a job in…"
You contact professional associations that support the industries you are exploring and arrange for informational interviews with people experienced in those fields. Conversations with people in your current sector point you toward an area where they need people with your experience. But you also discover through researching some specialized job listings that your skills would easily transfer to a completely different industry, which interests you more. So, you decide to pursue this new career change when looking for your next job.
My favorite way to help know what you want is to use one of the O*Net Interest Profilers at MyNextMove.org. The Occupational Information Network (O*Net) is a free online database that contains hundreds of occupational definitions to help students, job seekers, businesses, and workforce development professionals to understand today's world of work in the United States.
Using the interest profiler at MyNextMove.org is free and straightforward to use. It helps you identify where your career interests lie, then points you directly toward career paths that might match those interests.
Are you ready to graduate from Knowing what you want to Finding contacts and opportunities? Then, watch for our next post!