Acquiring Your Ideal Career in 5 Easy Steps
Working in a corporate setting is not for everyone. Some people prefer working with others in nontraditional indoor environments, while others prefer working with animals outdoors or in confined spaces. There are those interested in working with machinery or electrical equipment as well as those who enjoy creating delicious entrees with exotic foods. The list is in-exhaustive of the various professions available today.
If you are a younger person, what your parents perceive as an ideal career choice for you and what you eventually decide for yourself can be entirely at odds. The key to a successful job acquisition is in finding a satisfactory method of obtain your chosen profession, whatever it may be.
This article provides a step-by-step method of obtaining that ideal job whether it is in business, industry or something completely unique.
1. Do Your Research
So, your father wants you to pursue a career in podiatry, but this just doesn’t interest you. Although a position in his practice would be a great ambition to follow, you would rather work with a computer transcribing medical terminology. Why not compromise and follow both your dream and your father’s? You could work in his office as a Medical Transcriber.
This is just one example of how your career choice can conflict with the desires of someone important in your life. To make the best possible decision, you will need to do your research. Get as much information as you can on the field. Investigate the best-accredited schools and decide whether this could be done online or on campus. Talk it over with both your father and a conscientious objector. If it is at all possible, interview someone in the field to ascertain what a typical day is like.
There is also a wealth of information located on the Internet. You can find examples of various career opportunities, watch informative videos, and read testimonies from individuals who have been in your situation. Likewise, you are not limited by geography—you can discover how people in other countries work and achieve their goals. Be sure to limit your search to what is pertinent to your goals.
Finding out what you can expect from a job will give you clues into whether it would be a good fit for you.
2. Weigh Your Options
As in the example, it would be nice to have a job waiting for you after you complete your training but suppose you don’t. Since you have decided that you don’t want to attend a four-year college, will you be able to find suitable employment in your chosen field?
If you have done your research well; then you are aware of what the institution offers: internship programs, job placements, or other means of exposing students to prospective employers. If you can get a paying internship—this may be the perfect route to take. Getting paid while learning a skill affords you the opportunity to learn a valuable skill while earning money to handle expenses. Even if the internship is nonpaying; you will have acquired knowledge relevant to reaching your goals.
Job placement opportunities would definitely be a boost if you don’t already have a position awaiting you upon graduation. Some training institutions require that you register with their Job Placement Office early enough to guarantee that you will have an acceptable job upon graduation. Having family members or friends in your chosen profession can make the transition easier from student to employee.
You could also decide that you want to establish your own business. Be aware that you will need the following capabilities since everything will depend on your expertise as an entrepreneur:
- Managerial skills
- Financial savvy
- Customer Service abilities
- Marketing skills
You should also be aware of how you will finance your training. Will you have to work fulltime, part-time or are there scholarships available? Working fulltime will give you less time for academic endeavors and it will take longer to finish your training. Working part-time or acquiring a scholarship are good alternatives if you are staying with someone who can assist with the necessary day-to-day living expenses and personal needs. There could also be other requirements as well.
Although acquiring your dream job is your goal—the means of obtaining it must be considered.
3. Set Up a Timeline
It is important to do things in a systematic way. Therefore, setting up a timeline chart should be one of the most important things you do in your quest of procuring that idyllic position. Just as a navigator charts his course and chooses the safest paths—avoiding as many obstacles as possible; you must do the same.
If your goal is a 12- to 48-month timeframe, depending on your chosen career, then you need to adapt to a schedule that will allow you flexibility. You will need time to attend classes (whether on or off-campus.) There should be allotted space for individual or group study, whichever is applicable. You will have personal endeavors as well as meeting financial obligations that may require time allocation.
Just as an explorer ensures every detail of his/her expedition is accountable—to be successful; you must not leave anything to chance! Approach this venture as you would any important undertaking: deliberately and responsively.
Not many people plan for disasters but the unexpected does happen. While you have your eyes focused on that enjoyable job—don’t fail to pencil in a “just in case” item on your agenda.
4. Set a Course for Success
Now that you have done your research, weighed your options and constructed your timeline—it’s time for preparation.
Begin by contacting the institution of higher learning to arrange to meet with a counselor and if this is to be an on-campus experience, visit the facilities. Choose a day when your agenda is free, and you are able to plan a relaxed and informative visit. Look inside some of the classrooms to observe the seating arrangement. Decide ahead of time where you might park and ascertain what the parking situation will be. If there are any faculty members or students available, see if they have a few minutes to discuss with you the environment and culture of the place.
If your learning environment will be your home, then decide what will be the best place for concentration with little or no distraction. Decide what will be the best time of day in which to devote yourself to learning. If you live with your parents and there are younger siblings—what would be an ideal time for you? If you have a spouse/significant other plus offspring, then you may have to discuss with him/her regarding delegation of time for the necessities of home life and leisure time. Whether living with parents or your own family, adjustments will need to be made. Even if you embrace a solitary existence, you need to take into considerations what is necessary for a balanced life.
Another thought needing your attention is whether you will be working outside of the home or receiving any type of financial assistance. Working from home and having in-home classes is not advisable. It would be extremely difficult to distinguish between the two activities. Either decide to work away from home or take classes away from your home environment.
When you work outside the home, there will be times when you may not feel up to devoting any time to either going to class or studying. A job can be very demanding—so can taking classes. Add to this already hectic scheduling, your family, friends, outside interest plus other obligations and things can become harrowing. Unless you have some assistance, think carefully regarding fulltime employment.
As stated previously, part-time employment is preferred when you have additional means of support. Just make sure that if this includes a spouse/significant other—s/he agrees with what you are doing and is willing to handle the additional burden or commitment.
Also, don’t forget—you will need leisure time!
5. Putting Everything into Focus
Well, let’s recap to see what you have accomplished:
- You did your research
- You weighed your options
- You set up a timeline
- You set a course
Now the only thing that is left is execution. This will include registering with your institution of choice. If you are taking on-campus courses, then you will select them and the timeframe in which you will attend. This depends on your other activities—your job, your family, and personal commitments. You have decided whether you will park on or off-campus and have the applicable fees on hand. You will also need to purchase any necessary books or equipment for your training and speak with your advisor regarding academic expectations.
If you have chosen to attend off-campus or online classes, you have dedicated a room that is separated from the normal flow of activities. This room is ideally a back room where there is no outside interference from neighbors, children, or other distractions. There is adequate lighting and airflow as well as being quiet. You have a good working computer, printer, and high-speed Internet access. Since you are taking courses off-campus; these things will be paramount. You have also discussed with family members the times that are dedicated to academic pursuits and when you are available for family issues. You may still need to purchase books and other supplies; therefore, you will have acceptable storage accommodations.
If working fulltime, your schedule is conducive to allowing you amply time to get to classes if they are on-campus. You have mapped out the most beneficial route which affords to the opportunity to arrive early enough to acquire the best parking spaces and get to your classroom without being late. This is extremely important since the first few minutes in the course sets the pace for the rest of the period. If you are working part-time then this should not be as big an issue. However, you should still allow for unexpected events that can happen during the course of a day.
As previously stated, it is necessary to allow time for yourself and leisure activities. If you overschedule your day, you will be frustrated, stressed and your ideal job ambitions could be in jeopardy. If however, in the planning stage you made the necessary contingencies—there should be no problem in creating a balance between study, work, and your personal life.
What is better than knowing that you are about to embark on a journey that will culminate in you acquiring the job you will enjoy for years to come?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2018 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS