Searching for the Career You Want - Part One: How to Search for a Career and the Right Company
By Suzanne Lazar ’16, graduate student, SUNY Empire State College; editor, The Student Connection
November 10, 2017
Are you looking for a new career? Not sure what you want to do or where to start? Beginning a job search can be overwhelming. A lot of time and effort goes into to perfecting all pieces of the job search puzzle. But when you narrow down that job title you’ve been dreaming about, you master the skill of creating an eye-catching resume, and you write a cover letter that will grab the attention of the hiring manager, the rest will fall into place.
Pounding the pavement for a new career opportunity can be all these things: challenging, exhausting, exhilarating, and fun. Getting started can seem like the hard part. The newspaper isn’t enough anymore but there is an ocean of resources at our fingertips in the virtual world.
This two-part series will help you discover the many resources that can help you determine what you want to do, what you’re qualified for, and how to sell yourself and your skills as the best candidate.
Part one talks about how to search for a career and the right company:
Whether you want to change careers or start a new, finding the right match with your education, current skills, and past experiences can seem like an impossible task. Maybe you think you’re not quite qualified for your dream job but you have a lot of the skills needed. These resources will help get you started in searching for your next career:
Career Exploration & Guidance Including Self Assessments and Skill Development
JobZone www.nyjobzone.org - This tool provides career exploration assessments that help you identify your interests and work values. JobZone also suggests jobs that match your interests; offers a resume builder; provides a local job fair schedule; helps you search job postings; and also offers resources for people with disabilities and veterans.
My Next Move www.mynextmove.org - This site is designed to help you decide what career is right for you and to help you find a job that you will enjoy. There is also an interest assessment available to help you match your interests to a potential job!
My Next Move for Veterans (www.MyNextMove.org/VETS)
Veterans Reemployment Portal (www.CareerOneStop.org/Vets) - Designed to assist US Veterans with employment career planning, financial and emotional help by providing information on 900+ careers and local resources.
America’s Career InfoNet www.ACINet.org
Job Hunters Bible http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/for-career-changers
Metrix Learning http://www.metrixlearning.com/ - Provides assessments, training, and certifications for career enhancement at no cost to job seekers. Contact your career Center for information and to register for an Orientation
My Skills My Future www.myskillsmyfuture.org - Find new career options based on your skills and experiences. The site also features salary data, job listings, training programs and other useful tools to help find out what skills you need to obtain the job you want.
Occupational Information, Descriptions and Required Education
O*Net Online http://www.onetonline.org - Learn about different occupations including advanced manufacturing, green jobs and many others. The site provides Job descriptions, tasks and skills lists. It can be used to generate ideas for your resume.
Occupational Outlook Handbook www.bls.gov/oco - This site has a collection of job descriptions and information about the education needed to obtain a particular job. It’s a great tool to help you identify and list the tasks and skills from your previous jobs.
Career Central Agencies
Capital Region Workforce Investment Board www.capreg.org - Many programs, resources and tools to assist job seekers making their next career move
Now you have an idea of what you want to do. Next step is finding a company that has all the things you’re looking for! Many career search resources will help you determine where you want to work based on the size of a company, types of health benefits, work schedule flexibility, and growth opportunities.
For company research, Biz Journals is a good source of information about top rated companies to work for, for example, Biz Journals offers a list of 20 fastest growing businesses in the capital district. If you’re in another part of NY or in another state, simply search for “fastest growing companies to work for.” This search delivers a variety of lists with company information. One resource from that particular search delivered a list from Fortune 100 Fastest Growing Companies. Or search for something more specific in the field you are interested in. You have the power to choose where you want to work!
Once you find the job title and the company, it’s time to start looking for a job, perfecting your resume and cover letter, brushing up on your interview skills, and start applying!
SUNY Empire State College also offers great career development services career development services. You can take the driver’s seat and navigate on your own through the different resources, or work with someone in career services for one-on-one guidance. For more information about career services, contact Anita Brown at Anita.Brown@esc.edu.
Tune into Part-Two for more inside scoop on searching for the career you want.