Researching Your Career Options

Deciding on a career path can often seem like a daunting task - after all, how do you know if you are making the right choice and selecting a career path that is right for you?  Since so much of our time is spent at work (or thinking about work), your chosen path will inevitably play a big role in your life. 

A good place to start is by identifying your interests and your strengths because this will help you narrow down industries and fields that might be suitable for you.  Once you have a shortlist of fields or jobs that might interest you, it is time to do some job research on the industry and employment potential.

Here are a few questions to ask as you conduct your research:

1) What are the current employment statistics in your area?

Find out the employment rate in the field that you are entering and the employment projections for the future.  Is the industry growing, shrinking or stagnant?  Is it stable or going through major changes and developments? Website like the Government of Canada Job Bank can provide you with job market trends and outlooks by region for the field(s) that you are looking at. 

2) What can you expect to make?

When you are entering a field, it is important to know how much you can expect to make. Find out the average starting salary and the salary of someone with a few more years of experience so you can know how much and how often to expect increases.

3) What skills are necessary for this field?

Of course you will want to find out how you can qualify for these positions!  Are there skills or education that is required?  What about certifications, endorsements, past experience or referrals?  You will want to make sure you achieve all the requirements to qualify for this field.

4) What do job postings for these positions look like?

A good way to find out what skills are important in this field is to go job hunting online!  Even if you are not ready to apply, you will get a better idea of the type of experience and skills employers are looking for.  You will also find out which positions you don't qualify for or won't enjoy and rule them out.  This is an important step that can help you narrow down your search for when you are ready to apply!

5) Talk to someone in the field and find out what they think!

Do you know someone that is already working in the field? Consider taking them out for coffee or an informal sit-down where you can gain an insider's perspective!  If you don't know anyone working in the field, there are other options too. Often colleges will hold information sessions or industry talks. At Robertson College, we often host information sessions where you can find out more about the industry and the program and training you will require to qualify.  (Bonus - these information sessions are free to attend!)

Whether you are a high school graduate embarking on your first career or an experienced professional looking to make a career change, it is important to properly research your options before making any big decisions!

If you would like to find out more about the programs at Robertson College, you can always contact us or drop by to one of our campuses and speak to a Career Counsellor who can help you assess your skills and interests.