By Daniel M. Rover, CEO
Starting your career is exciting because it is an opportunity to shape your life in the way you want. It can be scary when you do not know what it is that you want to do and how you can make a living. Here are 10 tips to aid you in your pursuit.
1. Know your values
First, target you values. The more your career aligns with your values, the more satisfaction you will experience from what you do.
2. Play to your strengths
Second, find your strengths. It is easier and fun to cater to your strengths than to atone for weaknesses. There are online aids to help you discover what your strengths are if you are having a hard time discovering yours.
3. Live your passions
Some people can live their passions every day but for others it is more challenging. Belief systems and judgments can convince you that what you love is not capable of maintaining your career. If this is happening to you, think back your childhood passions and try to introduce those passions into your life presently.
4. Use your favorite skill sets
What are you good at doing? Think of the times that you have been successful and then concentrate on the steps that brought you to that point. These will be your best skills. From those skills, pick your favorites and try to apply them in your career.
5. Figure out how much money you need to make
For anyone entering a new job or thinking about switching careers, take an in-depth look at your finances. Create a budget. Decide on what lifestyle works for your needs. Then decide about how much money you need to make to maintain that lifestyle.
6. Have a plan
Prepare some research into different career types that incorporate your values, strengths, passions, favorite skill sets and money requirements. Imagine yourself in those careers. What will you be doing daily? What people will you be working with? What are your goals? Then go out and find out more about those careers.
7. Stay flexible
There are probably many different areas that you could see yourself working in. Experiment and see what you like best. Volunteer at a local non-profit. Join a committee. Take a class.
Do you need additional skills? Take a course or go for another degree.
Do you feel you need another job before you are ready for your ideal job? It is okay as long as you are moving in the right direction.
Here’s the real secret of career building. The best jobs come up because someone who knows you thinks that you would be the right person for the job. Networking is an important piece of a successful career. Do not be afraid to network. Do not think it is impolite to ask others for help or wonder why a person would want to spend time with someone new to the field.
Networking does not have to be scary. Think of it as connecting with others so you are both in sync with each other. You have something to contribute. Companies are always looking for talent and remember big executives were beginners just like you.
9. Find a mentor or like-minded people
Look for people who understand your situation or those that are a positive influence. You could join a support group with like-minded people, hire a coach or find a mentor to assist you.
10. Be good to yourself
Building a career can be tricky so respect yourself. Keep a success journal documenting all the things that you do well. Celebrate those successes and do not let negative talk hold you back. Develop a mantra that can remind you of yourself at your best.