A New Career Path
Finding the Perfect Match Between Demand, Skill and Interest
By Claudine Vainrub, MBA
If you are unemployed, a student, or at a time in your life when you are in doubt of your current career path, the time could be right to make a bold move in a new direction. Finding a new career path can be advantageous to you, if you pursue this change with a methodology. With the job market undergoing a recession, many professions have suffered while others continue recruiting. Often times, I hear CEO’s and corporate decision makers expressing frustration in not finding employees for their openings. The smart thing to do if you are thinking of making that career change is to look closely at the market and draw conclusions.
How do we look at the market and determine which careers are in need of employees? My best friend for these types of searches is Google. We conduct a query on careers in most demand and get 65 million responses! Some of my favorite lists and information for 2009 are at U.S. News 30 Best Careers for 2009, the Top In-Demand Careers by Yahoo, and 25 Top Jobs by Fast Company. These articles can provide an idea of what options we have. We should look into several of these lists and compare results, ensuring that if we are attracted to a specific career, that it is truly one in demand, as listed in several sources, and not just one.
Although for some this can be obvious, we need to mention that choosing a career cannot be solely a decision we make based on a list. Taking a look at lists of jobs in demand helps us make moves that will stand a better chance of success, in terms of finding a job once we make the transition. However, skills and interest assessments are as important. It would be a great failure to get into a field for which we have little skill or interest just because it is one in demand. We need to find that combination of job demand, passion for the specific field, and skill, which will enable us not only to become good at our new profession, but also devoted to it, as it is interesting to us. Our career becomes our life, as we are drawn to learn more, have it constantly in our mind not out of force but out of real curiosity and fascination.
If these concepts seem a bit unreal, dreamy, and out of tune with reality, it is because you have not yet found the one specific profession that does this for you. There is one or sometimes more than one discipline that will interest us so much that we will want to be in tune with it at any time. It is the one thing that will keep us working until the wee hours of the night, or even wake us up in the middle of the night with an idea that will get us out of bed and into the writing board. Seems ideal, but often times, it is not too clear which is this one right career choice that will entice us to grow exponentially.
How can we find this special interest of ours? One way is to use Personal Branding. This methodology allows us to understand skills, values and passions, our SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), attributes, best roles, and especially, what is our career goal. We define a vision, mission and unique promise of value, and in the process, we are able to distinguish the career path we are seeking. We can also use career assessments, such as the Career Liftoff Inventory and the Self-Directed Search (SDS), by John Holland, among others, to assess interests. The Work Behavior Inventory Assessment and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Assessment can provide feedback on personality types and traits that will allow you to work better in one certain environment over another.
Think Strategically… Although it is a tough job market, with strategy and in-depth analysis on your interests and strongest skills, the right time for a career change can be today.
Here is U.S. News full list of Best Careers 2009 :
- Biomedical equipment technician
- Curriculum/training specialist
- Genetic counselor
- Government manager
- Health policy specialist
- Higher education administrator
- Landscape architect
- Locksmith/Security system technician
- Management consultant
- Occupational therapist
- Physical therapist
- Physician assistant
- Politician/Elected official
- Registered nurse
- School psychologist
- Systems analyst
- Urban planner
- Usability/User experience specialist