Why is a career important?

A career can play a significant role in shaping the way we live and has the potential to determine our health and well-being outcomes. A career can provide us with knowledge, skills, satisfaction, socialisation, and a sense of identity and purpose, given it often aligns with our core values, passions and lifestyle needs. Paid careers provide us with the funds necessary to afford the necessities of life such as food, shelter and clothing.  So, it’s fair to say that a career is an important and beneficial aspect of anyone’s life.

How do you find the perfect career?

The most important question to ask yourself when looking for the perfect career is “what am I passionate about?”.  By asking yourself this, you should be able to make your search targeted, which will allow you to more easily identify the industry, organisation, and role you’re looking for.  By narrowing your career search, you’ll also be able to reach a decision faster, thereby allowing you to quickly begin circulating your resume.

What if I’m unsure about what I want to do?

If you’re struggling to identify your passion/s or are unsure of what type of work you’re interested in, you can start by using online resources such as personality tests and career quizzes, such as the Myers-Briggs Personality Test.  Resources like this can give you added insight into the types of careers that are best suited to you and your personality type.

If you’ve already identified the perfect career and are confident that it aligns with your core values and needs, it’s a good idea to follow up with some research to identify opportunities currently on offer.  For example, if you’re passionate about healthcare, it would be useful to brainstorm all of the healthcare-oriented careers that you find appealing – such as being a  nurse, laboratory assistant, data entry clerk, or medical receptionist. Next, think about the suitability of each career in terms of the skills and knowledge required to get the job done.  Once you’ve narrowed down your list to your top three preferences, follow this up by filtering through job-advertising resources such as SEEK, Indeed, recruitment agencies or your social network (LinkedIn is particularly helpful) to seek out available opportunities.

Once a few suitable options are on the table, you should assess their pros and cons: consider location, transport to and from the job, hours of work and rate of pay.  You should also consider what you’re willing to be flexible about, and what you’re not willing to compromise on.  At this stage, you may also like to reflect on prior work experience, taking into account aspects of previous roles that did or didn’t work for you.

Alternatively, if you’re looking at pursuing a career in an unfamiliar field or industry, be prepared to undertake further training or study to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to safely carry out the role.  This can be achieved via TAFE and university courses, internships and work placements, and various other educational avenues. You should contact the organisation you’re seeking employment with to find out the skills and qualifications required for the role if you’re uncertain.

In summary, keep several things in mind when searching and securing the perfect career for you

  • Engage in self-reflection to identify your passion
  • Identify the industry, organisation and role in which you can pursue this passion
  • If you’re unsure about what the perfect career looks like for you, try a personality test or career quiz like the Myers-Briggs Personality Test (insert hyperlink)
  • Brainstorm career options that relate to your passion and assess each option according to its suitability in terms of required skills and knowledge
  • Use resources to help you identify job opportunities such as the Internet, , job recruitment agencies, social networks
  • Assess the pros and cons of each job opportunity with location, transport, hours of work and rate of pay in mind
  • Explore the educational pathways that may need to be pursued for you to obtain the skills and qualifications necessary for undertaking the role – be prepared to start at the bottom if you’re an industry new-comer
  • Be confident and ambitious!

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