One of the daunting tasks is when you are deciding on a career and professional direction. This is happening majorly because most of our personal value and identity is based on what we do. Those looking to find their way always encounter anxiety and lots of pressure as a result. Fortunately, while there are some paid services that can help you navigate this question, there are also some great free resources to tap into and explore before having to spend any money. So where can you go to explore your options? We’re glad you asked.
There are job centres that can help you narrow down and pinpoint your interests and talents in many cities and communities. These centres would also help you in applying for open positions that would fit you. This could be one of the best options for you if you feel like you need some conversational and practical help.
College Campus Career Services
If you are enrolled in courses at a college, even community colleges, in particular, there are onsite counsellors that can help you with aptitude tests and finding some possible career direction and advice to help point you in the right direction. Community college can also be a helpful tool in and of itself. If there is a career track you have been thinking about pursuing, take a class or two in a related and applicable studies and see how you enjoy and understand the material. This could help save some heartache in making commitments to career paths that may not be a great fit for you.
Try as much as you can to get mentorships within the company you work for. You can talk to your HR or management and find out if there are any mentorship programs that may be available to junior employees if you are looking to advance in your current company. You will be able to learn the ins and outs from experienced and successful professionals by partnering up with a mentor. This would give you an edge that is not typically easy to access without years of professional experience.
Keep searching for internships. Look for internships that are available; both paid and unpaid types and try to lay your hands at being immersed in the type of environment you see yourself working before concluding on a career path and spending the time and money associated with obtaining certifications and degrees. You would still have access to the environment and relationships you need to make clear decisions and network your way in to bigger and better roles at a later time even if the particular tasks you perform are entry-level.
There are tons of online resources where you can go to conduct research and gather insights and opinions from others. Social media groups, forums, blogs- they can all have very useful information and advice. However, the internet is anything but void of opinions. So knowing that not everything you find online is accurate or helpful, keep an open mind to some of the criticisms you find and look for the most reputable and honest sources of information you can find. Remember, not everyone is suited for every job, so you will likely find naysayers as well as enthusiastic supporters. Just use your best judgment in filtering through what opinions and details pertaining to you and your situation and which you will choose to dismiss.
You can compare soul-searching to career searching because you need to take your time to listen to your gut so as to find what works best for you. It is exciting and overwhelming at the same time in our history with so many options out there.