Get job ready

Thinking of finding a new job or career? Not sure how? Try the 5 steps to discover your career.

Once you know where you want to go follow the links to get all the tips, tricks and advice to be fully prepared for the next step in your career journey.

5 steps to discover your career

1. Discover who you are

Thinking about who you are is the first step in finding your career. You want to choose a path that interests you, but also matches you as a person. After all, you have likes and dislikes, things that you’re good at, and perhaps things you aren’t. So, it’s important to explore what skills you know you have:

Spend time doing the Pride Moments exercise - remember moments from your past where you felt a sense of achievement or where you were proud of yourself, like learning to drive, and write down the skills that you demonstrated from these experiences. After identifying your skills think about how you might be able to use these skills in other jobs or industries, this will help you to clarify where you want to end up.

Consider the career choices you’ve made so far and how you feel about them. Think about past working teams and working environments:

  • Did the organisation demonstrate values that were aligned with your own?
  • Were there any work behaviours that you disagreed with or didn’t sit well with you?
  • How important are rates of pay versus other considerations such as flexibility?

2. What do you bring to the table?

To find your career, your skills and achievements need to come to life. What you can bring to an organisation matters. Be positive and clear-headed about your achievements and areas where you need to learn and develop.

  • What have you enjoyed in the past?
  • What were you good at?
  • How important was your training or education in that?

Get a list going and include this in your resume with examples. Ask some friends or colleagues about how they see you at work, what do you do well? What about asking your family? Imagine having a conversation about what you’re good at and why. You’ll get closer to working out where you want to go and how to get there.

3. Be curious in your research

When it comes to discovering interesting career information, the online world is a friend with deep pockets. Don’t stop at your laptop though. Talk to industry volunteers, professional associations and career practitioners as well. Anyone who might know more about that industry or role. Just as an interesting exercise, go through a list of industries and the bigger occupations list and ask yourself:

  • what roles am I curious about?
  • Can I see myself in one of those occupations?
  • Have a think about working in a new role or job:
    • What would it look like?
    • What would you enjoy about it?
    • Does it feel right?

Use Linkedin to find people working in that type of role and arrange to chat with them about the reality of working in that field, we call this an information interview. Their knowledge of what the role is really like could save you hours of career detective work. Or you may want to take a look at the Careers NSW Industry Experts and see if there is an expert in your field of interest you can talk to.

4. Shortlist new roles and prototype them

Shortlisting potential jobs that are right for you is the next step. It’s one thing to find a career you enjoy but another to find a matching job. By now steps 1, 2 and 3 have helped you find what you’re good at–your skills and experience–and who you could speak to. Now, you can start looking for jobs that match. Online websites, like Workforce Australia, and Seek can really help. Did you know that only 20% of jobs are advertised? The majority of jobs are gained through word-of-mouth referrals. That is where a contact recommends you to someone looking to fill a position. Share your skills, achievements and career interests with your contacts. Reframe your approach to job search by prioritising your connection with contacts and supplement with searching job boards and websites.

5. It's never too late to learn new skills

It’s highly likely that you’ll find more than one career that really grabs your attention. That’s great! But what happens if you don’t have experience for all of the required skills, criteria or competencies? Don’t be discouraged, you may find that you have a variety or diversity of skills than previously anticipated or perhaps it might be a new skill that you can develop. By showing employers that you are proactively learning new skills, this shows them that you are adaptable and willing to try and learn new skills and roles. When it comes to what you really want to do, going back to learning can be a fresh way for you enter a new industry or role. Work life is dynamic. By making learning a priority, you are making yourself more employable and ready for future focused opportunities.

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Careers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.