Starting Your Career





Whether you are a new graduate, considering your next career move or are re-entering the workforce, it can be challenging to know where to start. In a world where employment opportunities are vast, location specific, and changing because of technology and artificial intelligence there are many factors to consider.

Before weighing your options, identify your interests, what skills you may have, and what your unique value can be. In most instances interests and skills can be reflected by previous experiences. But what if you don’t have any previous experience? Where do you start then? The short answer is getting yourself out there, create your own experiences. And the reality is you probably have more experience than you think you do.

Identify mentors

Mentors are individuals that have experience and expertise and can advise you in your career. They often relate to you by talking about their previous experiences, what they learned, and some essential steps they took to get to where they are now. 

Surround yourself with people who believe in you. People who have positive energy and can help provide you with guidance and support. Without these individuals it will be challenging to move forward.  

What do others say about you?

If you want to know what you may be skilled in, ask. There are probably many areas where you have amazing skills but you may not be able to see what they are. Those who are closest to you are more than likely to know your strengths. Connect with classmates, previous teachers, friends, relatives, etc. Individuals from different areas of your life will have different perspectives of your skills. Don’t just ask what those skills are; ask what you have done to demonstrate these skills. This will get you thinking of where you can start to use your skills and expand on them further.

Surround yourself with people who believe in you. People who have positive energy and can help provide you with guidance and support

 Get past the anxiety

It can be stressful to think about taking the next steps. One thing that may help is knowing that everyone at some point had to start their career journey. It can produce a lot of anxiety not knowing what to expect or what will come next but as the saying goes most uncomfortable feelings means you’re learning and growing.

Create a Vision Board

A vision board is a series of pictures or words you put together to help you achieve your goals. Creating a vision board can help you realize what it is you are trying to accomplish. It will also help you realize the actions you need to take to make the vision a reality. Imagine this vision coming through every day and assess the help you need to take your next steps.

Engage  in Professional Development

Lifelong learning is essential to being successful in your career. First, engage in research to understand the labour market specific to your career interests. Assess the essential skills employers need and those that would be assets. Then look into programs that may be right for you. If you care pursing post-secondary education think about courses that may be more practical in nature. You can also enroll in more short-term courses such as those on Coursera, LinkedIn, Udemy or SkillShare. Courses on these platforms tend to be shorter and more specific in nature. Engaging in professional development can help you become more competitive in the labour market can help you understand the next steps to take in your career.

Go for it

If you continue to sit on the sidelines you will not move forward in your career. Identify what you need to move ahead and continue to take the steps you need to get there. Break your tasks down into small manageable ones, keep working at it and your career will move ahead.

Jodi Tingling is a career strategist and social worker focused on coaching, motivating, and guiding others in their career trajectories. For a private coaching session you can book an appointment or enroll in a course to help you succeed in your career.

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