A career path comprises a group of (typically related) jobs that individuals work toward their career goals, moving from entry-level to management positions or moving across similar roles in different industries. Career plans include short- and long-term goals that help individuals reach their ideal careers. People often change jobs an average of 10 times during their career.
Navigating your career path can feel a bit like wandering the winding yellow brick road. Career paths are typically not clear, and you don’t always know how to find the best support in choosing your path. Here are some steps to follow to create your career path and begin your journey.
For those just getting their careers started, deciding on a first career or a career change, it’s helpful to break it down into small bite-sized pieces. Consider these tips:
- Zeal: First things first, what are you passionate about? What do you spend your time thinking about when you’re at your current job or when you’re daydreaming? What would you aim for if you could shoot for that sun in the sky?
- Expertise: What is your skillset? Are you someone who sees the beauty in numbers, patterns and proofs? Maybe you enjoy complex problems, or perhaps you love writing. All careers require both soft and technical skills, and it helps to determine what you already do well and what skills you need to develop further.
- Personality: Who are you, and what is your personality type? Are you a strong-willed leader, creative free spirit, or strategic thinker? Personality tests are an excellent way to provide further insight or confirm what you already know.
- Education: After you’ve identified what you like and what you’re good at, there are many classes to take to develop your skills.
- Money: What are your salary requirements? Determine your range of what you’d like to make and what you need to make.
- Networking: Build your network. Start with people you know: friends, family, colleagues, classmates, and acquaintances and then expand. Connect with your peers at local events, follow leaders in your field of interest on LinkedIn, reach out to contacts from your network and join relevant associations and professional development groups.
- Informational interviews: These are helpful to clarify or verify your career interests. Speaking with people who currently hold the position you are interested in will provide you with valuable insight that you may not be able to get anywhere else. They will be able to give it to you straight, the good and the bad.
- Mentoring: These long-term relationships are often one-on-one, coach-driven or group-based and focus on supporting the development and growth of those seeking mentorship.
- Career coaches: These experts – like those at Job Skills! – can help guide career seekers through their job search, provide resume writing help and prepare candidates for interviews or promotions.
- Temporary job placements: These are a great way to get your feet wet in your desired field. Training programs often assist in setting these up.
Here are some examples of career paths:
- Retail: Retail Sales Clerk → Assistant Manager → Department Manager → Store Manager
- Sales: Customer Service Representative → Internal Salesperson → External Salesperson
- Administration: Administrative Assistant → Executive Assistant → Office Manager
- Advertising: Account Coordinator → Assistant Account Executive → Account Executive
- Editorial: Editorial Assistant → Assistant Editor → Associate Editor → Editor → Senior Editor
- Human Resources: HR Resources Clerk → HR Assistant → Recruiter → Training and Development Coordinator → Payroll or Benefits Specialist → HR Generalist → HR Manager →
If you haven’t connected with an Employment Consultant at Job Skills, NOW is the time to get that one-on-one support you can use as you move through the new way of working. Call Job Skills toll-free at 1-866-592-6278 to connect to one of JS’s experts.
Job Skills has more than 40 online workshops to assist you in your career exploration and job search situation. Register to participate in the online ‘Networking and Direct Approach’ workshop on March 24, 10:00 am – 11:00 am. Watch for the other dates and times to register for any of our online workshops, as well as lots of great links and resources to assist you!