- Bland L.
- Thursday, February 18, 2021
One of the problems facing first-time job seekers, or those contemplating a career change, is that they may have a general idea of the kind of work they’d like to do but lack detailed knowledge about what this work involves. At the same time, they may not be fully aware of their own skills and interests—that is, whether they would actually be suited to the career path they’re contemplating. For these reasons, research is crucial to job-search success.
Skills and interest assessments help the job seeker answer a couple of important questions: What do I like to do? What would I be good at? These kinds of assessments are widely available online, the best-known being the O*NET Interest Profiler. (O*NET, the Occupational Education Network, was developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor.) Richland Library cardholders also have online access to Career Cruising, Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center, and Peterson’s Career Prep, which offer assessment batteries similar to the Interest Profiler.
Once you’ve determined the kind of work best suited to your skills and interest, the next step is to find out all you can about the career that interests you. Career Cruising and Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center provide several avenues to career research: by job title, by school subject, or by the sixteen “career clusters” (Hospitality & Tourism, Information Technology, etc.) devised by the U.S. Department of Education.
In addition to a basic job description for a career, you can learn about working conditions, average earnings, required education level, a sample career path, and resources such as the names of professional organizations associated with a particular field. Career Cruising and Ferguson’s also provide brief interviews with actual workers in various occupations, answering questions such as “What personal characteristics are required for someone to be successful in your job?” and “How much job security is there for people in your field?”
Even if you are still in the exploratory stages, reading about careers and mulling your options, you can inform yourself further by researching companies in your field of interest. Richland Library cardholders have access to online business directories, including Business Insights: Global, Company Profiles, and Reference Solutions, that provide detailed information on what a company does and who leads it, as well as the latest news involving the company. Later on, if you apply for open positions with any of the companies you’ve investigated and land an interview, you will have a competitive edge thanks to the time you’ve put into research.
Looking for more information?
Set up a virtual meeting with one of our certified Career Coaches through the Book a Learning Coach form or by calling 803-929-3400. After you submit, we will contact you to set an appointment. Our team provides help with interviewing skills, your résumé, interest/skills assessments, and more. Follow Richland Library on LinkedIn for career development tips and tidbits.