You’ve finished your education, and now it’s time to take the first steps into your dream career. You already know that isn’t going to happen without hard work and plenty of savvy. You know you need skills, time and effort to get you where you want to be, and have the life you’ve always wanted.
You know all that, but that doesn’t make getting there any easier.
You’re constantly thinking ‘how do I plan my career?’ You don’t want to drift along, missing out on opportunities (and, let’s face it, cash). But how do you find those opportunities in time to jump on them? You see other people doing it… but you don’t know if they’ve just been lucky.
Those who achieve their dream careers aren’t lucky. They’ve made it because they’ve done their research, they know what they’re good at and they’ve made sure they have the skills and connections to pounce on every opportunity that comes their way.
In this article, you’ll find out how you can do that too. So without further ado, let’s help you answer the age-old question : ‘how do I find the right career for me?’
Jobs for life?
People used to leave school, join a training scheme or start off as an office junior and then expect a job for life. Maybe that’s what your parents did. Maybe that’s what they expect you to do, too.
Jobs for life are gone. The days when you could rely on getting promotions simply by being in a company for long enough, are gone. Today’s employers expect people to take charge of their own ambitions, identify their own opportunities, and upskill themselves.
It’s far more exciting than simply working your way up from teaboy to the top without much thought. But it’s riskier and often harder. Are you up to the challenge?
Planning your career
Career planning is something for you to do throughout your life. It starts at school or university, but it doesn’t end there. It’s something you’ll need to do at least as much (if not more) as you move through life because your needs and goals will change. What you want from your career (and your life) at 40 or 60 won’t be what you want now.
So how do you start a career plan to last a lifetime? You don’t need an expensive coach or anything else right now. You simply need to make sure you’re clear on where you want to be and what your skills are – a task made simpler by Joivy.
We strive to cut through the noise and direct you to helpful resources that will make you more employable, more confident, and laser focused on your goals.
Want to learn about marketing? No problem – take a peek at Google Skillshop.
How about brushing up on your Excel skills? Check out excelexercises.com.
Whatever you want to do, let Joivy guide you on your way.
Here are our seven steps to success.
Describe your dreams
What would you really love to do? Be ambitious and radical.
Dream big. When you’ve identified where you’d most like to be, look at how to get there from where you are now. What skills do you have now that will help you and what do you need to gain?
Visualisation is a great way to get your creative juices flowing and remind you of things about yourself that didn’t immediately spring to mind.
Think mindmaps, drawings and post-it notes. Whatever works for you!
Identify your values and the lifestyle you want
Real success means both money and career satisfaction. Having one without the other isn’t going to give you the life you want.
But the balance between the two will be different for everyone, and it might change as time goes on. Think carefully about your values and what really matters most to you.
What lifestyle do you want?
Where do you want to live?
Is having a family important to you? Travel? Hobbies?
Aim for a career that gives you the money you need to live in style, while leaving space for the rest of your life.
Think about your life, not just your career
Not everyone has the same route into a particular career. Not everyone takes the same path once they get there.
For example, you might want to:
- Take a gap year and travel the world.
- Take a pay cut in order to gain experience in something new.
- Take time out to retrain.
- Take time out to raise a family.
All these are valid choices, and making them wouldn’t mean you lacked ambition. And even if it did, why should that matter? It’s your life, and you have the right to decide what you do with it.
The decline of careers for life affords you this freedom.
Don’t let it go to waste.
Take time to think about how your career will help you achieve your life goals.
After all, you’re likely to spend a third of your life at work, so it’s crucial to find a career that is rewarding and that makes you feel proud.
Work with your strengths and weaknesses
If you don’t believe you’ll achieve your dreams, no-one else will either. Believing in yourself is vital.
It’s also vital to make sure you can walk your talk.
Work with your natural talents, not against them.
There’s no point in trying to blag your way into a career that you just don’t have an aptitude for. You won’t achieve the success you want if you’re struggling to keep up.
Have you ever been asked to identify your strengths and drawn a blank?
It’s hard to know where your true talents lie, but it’s essential to identify them to streamline your career journey and get you on the right track.
Luckily, the Holland code test (also known as the RIASEC test) can clear this confusion up for you. The test, developed in the 1970’s by Dr John Holland, will help you find the right career for you, based on your unique personality traits.
After 60 questions, and just a few short minutes, it will tell you where your strengths lie, and suggest suitable career paths, leaving you crystal clear on your goal. It’s that simple. Here’s a sneak peak of what the results might look like…
Develop new talents and practise old ones
Even if you’re naturally gifted in something, you’ll need to work and practise to make the most of your talent and develop the skills you need. Don’t write off things that you think you’re no good at. Don’t make assumptions about what career might be right for you based on your school reports.
Think you can’t be a hot shot accountant because you weren’t good at maths at school? There are lots of accountants out there who weren’t maths stars at school.
Think you can’t head up a team because you weren’t one of the popular crowd? Your place in the school pecking order means nothing now.
If you really want to do something, if you have a dream that lights you up, the chances are you have some aptitude for it. If you’re not good enough yet, practise, practise, practise until you are.
If you’re not certain how to reach your goals, you’ll struggle to achieve them.
At Joivy, we aim to tell you where you stand right now.
Once you’ve got your bearings, it’ll be much easier to discover the next step in your journey.
Our skill trees can help you visualise your goals and tackle the skills you are trying to master. Keep track of your progress, set targets, and make sure that you are on the right track.
We’ve also got some pretty cool certificates in the pipeline, but whilst we cross the t’s and dot the i’s, why not browse the courses available on Coursera, Udemy or Skillshare.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Everyone has a past. Everyone has things they struggle with. But past struggles don’t have to get in the way of your future success.
Getting out of your comfort zone is the best way to grow, and whilst no one said it would be easy, Joivy is here to support you each step of the way.
You’ve probably heard of impostor syndrome. Thing is, everyone feels like they’re an impostor at some point. If you don’t, you’re probably not reaching far enough or being ambitious enough.
Embrace the feeling that you think you might just be out of your depth, or not quite good enough. That’s where you learn, grow and achieve.
Make sure to keep checking job boards like Indeed.com as new opportunities are posted every day. Even if you’re not ready to apply just yet, it’s a great way of sussing out the market and gaining inspiration from what’s out there.
But when you do feel ready to launch your career, don’t let the perfect opportunity slip away from you after all your hard work. It’s heartbreaking when you discover you missed out on a dream opportunity over something as avoidable as a spelling error.
We know how that feels.
Other factors like the tone of the cover letter and the structure of your CV, can have a huge impact on your application.
They might not seem important, but when HR is going through 150 CVs a day they’re looking for any excuse to filter out candidates.
To make sure that yours makes it to the top of the pile, we recommend checking out Grammarly’s (free!) service here <link>. Grammarly analyses the tone, grammar, and even phrasing of your cover letter.
You don’t have to go on a solo expedition. The most successful people surround themselves with people who can help. Don’t let your pride stand in the way of getting the career you’ve always dreamed about. In other words…
Identify those who can help you on your journey
Successful people know when to invest in themselves. They know where to find people who can help them. They know where to find the perfect career quiz. Look for mentors, take aptitude tests and be constantly open to being shown the way.
However many resources you have, however much you level up your skills, there’s no escaping the truth. The job search is a long and winding road, with ups and downs along the way.
You’ll have good days.
You’ll have bad days.
You’ll miss out on jobs that you loved, and interview for ones where you didn’t think you had a chance.
So don’t get disheartened.
It’s all too easy to feel alone when the rejections start to pile up. You may feel disheartened at times, and you’ll often think the system is broken – but persevere.
Nobody can guarantee you a job, let alone your dream one, but you’ll never know unless you put yourself out there.
The time to start your dream career is now.
Take charge of your own future. Set big goals for yourself and then go all out to meet them. If the goals are big enough, you might not meet every one.
That’s not a sign of failure, it’s a sign of bravery.
If you meet every goal easily, your goals are too small.
Find out where you stand with our Skill Studio. Inside you’ll find a simple career test with powerful results and career development opportunities you won’t get anywhere else.