When you first start working, you may try a number of fields and position types to see what works best for you; when it’s time to start a career track, though, it helps to be certain about your goals and what you want to do.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that the average baby boomer held 11.7 jobs between the ages of 18-48. Millennials are estimated to hold twice that many in a variety of different career fields throughout their natural working lives.
Settling on a path is hard with so much bouncing around. Here are some tips for narrowing down your career interests and seeking out the best opportunities for your long-term career aspirations:
- Explore Career Tracks: Created by the Office of Career Services at NYU’s Graduate School of Public Service, the career tracks exercise is an excellent tool for identifying career-paths best suited to your individual interests. While the exercise will take some time to complete, it is guaranteed to help you to narrow down viable career opportunities, which is the first step that you should take.
- Establish Goals: The first and most important step in narrowing down your career interests is to take a moment and identify your personal and professional goals, then determine what you are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve them. Take the time to write down what is most important to you and focus your energy on seeking out opportunities that will satisfy your needs on a holistic level.
- Find the Right Work Environment: Investigate companies you may be interested in so that you can determine if they will be a good fit for your personality. Web resources like Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com and Salary.com are free to use and provide users with access to information like salaries, incentive programs, reviews of the management staff and just about anything else someone would need to decide if the environment would be good fit. You can also request an exploratory interview or job shadow.
- Network: Actively seek out relationships with other professionals. Not only can discussing your goals be helpful in identifying viable career opportunities, but it is also helpful to be notified when job prospects become available. While resources like CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com or Job.com can be helpful in your efforts to search for jobs, having a relationship with an internal employee who is willing to refer you for an opening is invaluable. Strive to grow your professional network, find others who share similar career aspirations and brainstorm creative solutions to achieve your goals.