directionsWhat do I want to do with my life? Many like my son were born for a specific career and that is wonderful. Many however can’t seem to find a path in all of this or maybe your train got derailed and the prospects for the original course are not as distinct as they once were and a course correction was required to get back on a solid track. Sometimes we must make an assessment or self evaluation to see what it is that will motivate us and this will move us to a new career path.

Assessing your career or job needs: There are drivers in your life that motivate, inspire and move you to follow a specific path. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.

One of the secrets to success is making the most of your personal strengths and attributes. First, though, you have to determine what your strengths are — and that may not be obvious, especially if you’re just starting out or looking for a career change. Zero in on the skills that make you special by looking for these clues. Try doing a self assessment:

Which tasks attract you? Think of the types of jobs you look forward to, and that you’d find some way to do even if you weren’t paid.

Which tasks do you lose yourself in? When you’re involved on certain tasks, do you forget what time it is and how long you’ve been working? These can sometimes indicate the jobs that best use your skills.

What do you learn quickly? You probably struggle with mastering some skills, but you effortlessly pick up others. That’s because you have some natural talent and a deep desire to learn more.

What do other people ask for help with? Pay attention to the jobs you’re assigned and the favors people ask you for. They wouldn’t come to you if you weren’t good in those areas.

Where do you succeed? This may seem obvious, but some people miss the forest for the trees. Take a look at the tasks you’ve done best; they’ll use your most important skills.

What brings you satisfaction? No matter how tired you are, some tasks make you feel good at the end of the day. You’ll do better in life and on the job by concentrating on work you find fulfilling.

Specific Goals and Objectives: Traditional resumes begin with a ‘goal’ or ‘objective’. Do you have either?

Goals and objectives

a. Have you found yours yet? – If you have not, it is very common at a young age or when you are just entering the job market. It is not always a given. Many people flounder and try any port without really having a clue and end up with more jobs than birthdays. That’s why there are counselors in high schools and colleges. If you have them as a source then use them. That is what they do.

b. Interests– Most of us have specific interests and may not have a clue how to interface them with a career choice. There are many ways to find your niche, your place, your motivation or your dream job. Many folks have interests that are lovely and noble and you may not have a shot at your goal. Every guitar player, singer, sport player, gambler, [you insert any dream job here], wants to be a star. The odds are that you will have to settle for something that can incorporate your desires, if you are lucky. However, be realistic and honest with yourself.

c. Yes, I have a goal, an objective a target to hit! ‘Mazel tov’. There are many sources for you to channel to match the needs of your career and the training that is available for you to engage. Many times it requires education. Sometimes it is a matter of training for hands on training. Some will accept you at an entry level or OJTOn the Job Training. Sometimes you can enter military service and utilize those skills in the civilian service market.

d. OK so you know what you want to do, now to the next question.. where do you take that education, training, skills and abilities next?

Who does what you want to do?-

Who can use what I am bringing to the table? There are sites online that can give you the types of companies that can use the type of skills that you are bringing to the table.

Are there companies or businesses that do what I do in the area in which you live? This may present a problem for you if you want to be a trapper and you live in NYC! If you are a deep sea diver and live in the mountains, you may need to make an adjustment. Yes, you have to make some hard decisions.

Local opportunities vs. relocation options?

Many times you have to choose to leave the comfort zone. Don’t limit yourself to what is local unless you carefully analyze what you are jeopardizing with such a move. If you are single and have no commitments then choices come easy.

If not, then it must be addressed by all affected. These decisions are life changing in many cases. Do not set yourself up to fail. I personally have found that involving your family that will be affected and bringing your faith into the picture is most rewarding and significant. That is what age has taught me personally.

The cost of moving is always an important matter. That should be of the utmost to consider because financial impact can have a direct bearing on your family structure.

If you bring skills to the table that has value to a perspective employer there is wiggle room to ask for relocation costs or reimbursements. If you come to the table with less experience, training or education then the likelihood minimizes. You can ask if it is negotiable or if after a set period of time it can be reimbursed then that is a consideration as well.

Most search engines can be adjusted for zip code, city, state, region when you perform a job search. There are tools to adjust searches by mileage from those locations as well. Experiment with a website.

In order to gain the maximum effectiveness of an online search engine you should know that there are ways and means of breaking down the sources to your advantage.

First thing to do is to look at your search engine and see what parameters they ask you to provide. Put in a keyword for most and a city name, address or zip code. Many have a tab that breaks down a radius from that specific zip or address within a specific mile radius of the potential job. The best method is to start with the smallest radius.. say a five mile radius. An example would be that there are 10 jobs in a five mile radius of zip 28202 for admin. As you expand the job quantity increases exponentially.

Keyword– admin Location– 28202 Within 5 / 15 / 25 mile radius 10 jobs

The reason that you would start with the closest is to get the most close possible opportunity to your zip code in order to consider the cost of fuel to get to work. By expanding the mileage, you can decide if a commute will be necessary and what you will need to consider as you decide to apply.

Filed under: Choosing a Job

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