How to de-spook your career future
When thinking about what your future holds makes you want to scream and dive for cover, you know it’s time to make some changes. Many people have a lot of anxiety around their career options and can get pretty spooked whenever the subject comes up. Luckily, we have a few Halloween-themed tidbits of advice that may help you take on the monster that is your career journey.
Put the crystal ball away
It’s time to stop looking to the spirits for advice, and start looking within. Self-reflection is a pretty key step to not only figuring out what you want to do, but also how you want to get there. The best thing? You don’t even need to leave your house for most of it.
First, it’s time to grab a good ol’ notepad and pen and start listing out your achievements. This can be anything from experience you gained volunteering, an assignment you did amazingly on, an award you won for your work – make a list of whatever you’ve done that makes you proud. Once you’ve done this, you can not only extrapolate what skills of yours these successes relied on, but also your values, interests, and potential career options.
Then make a list of the things you’d like to achieve in the next few years. This can be things like more industry experience, a top grade in a class you love, a new skill you want to learn, a side hustle you want to start, whatever you’ve had playing at the back of your mind.
This list should then help you formulate what areas you may need to improve on to make those goals a reality. Think about what skills you’ll need, what people you need to connect with, and whether there are any proficiencies or new areas you’ll need to master. Once you have all of this down, you can start breaking your goals down into achievable chunks to start tackling!
If you’ve written all this down and are still confused, you can also swing by and chat to a Recruitment Advisor and they can help you start formulating a career direction you’d like to head in.
All treats, no tricks
Don’t trick yourself into thinking you can create a great resume last minute – treat yourself to a prepared draft.
Whether you’re planning on applying for a job soon or not, having a rough draft of your resume will save you one hell of a fright later on. We’ve got loads of articles about resume writing on the blog, so check out the Resumes and Cover Letters topic page for some starting points. Plus, the achievements you listed in your previous step may help you flesh out some of your experience section!
Once you have a draft created, it’ll make it a lot easier to tailor it to any jobs that come up out of the blue. Because honestly, it’s a bit awful to see a job ad for your dream role the day applications close and have to rush your application, having created some strange Frankenstein monster of a resume last minute.
Once you’ve done that, mark a date in your calendar for 6-12 months’ time to revisit your resume and update it with any new successes you’ve have in that time. That way you’ll always have an up-to-date resume ready to be tailored and sent off.
Brush the cobwebs from your career phobias
Shudder at the thought of an interview? Hiss at any mention of a completed LinkedIn profile? Scuttle back to your nest any time someone mentions internships? Everyone has a few fears around the whole career process, regardless of where you’re at in your journey.
Make note of the main career sticking points in your life, and then start making plans. There are LOADS of ways you can start overcoming those fears before ever having to face them for real in a serious career setting (think mock interview vs interview for your dream role).
Throughout the year there are plenty of workshops and events targeting topics like finding an internship, writing the perfect resume, mastering your interview technique, setting up a great LinkedIn, finding your dream job – almost every element of the career process is covered.
You can also do you own research, either online or through networking. Reach out to some people working in your field and see whether you can have an information interview with them about how they got to where they are and what challenges they overcame. Or get active in your industry online through LinkedIn, blogs, or even podcasts and start brushing up on your skills (while getting some great life advice along the way).
Need more advice? Check out Simon’s recent post on facing your career fears for some great advice on this same topic!
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
By Mia Casey