Job seekers are often told to conduct informational interviews before deciding on a career path, yet many don't have access to professionals in certain fields, don't know what opportunities exist or even where to begin. This book does the legwork for them. From aerospace to advertising, fashion to finance, it profiles today's 50 best careers to give readers the inside scoop on the pluses and minuses of each job. Featuring advice from recruiters, the bigwigs and the young guns, JobSmarts Insider's Guide to 50 Top Career Paths answers:
How do I get them to want me? (And will I want them?)
Will I make coffee or decisions?
Will I be working for passion or a big paycheck?
Will I like my job? (Will I like my boss's job?)
And much more.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Bradley Richardson is president of the BGR Group, Inc., a training and consulting firm, and a spokesperson for AT&T. The corporate America twentysomething guru, he leads workshops at colleges around the country and is a frequent columnist in newspapers, magazines, and business publications. He lives in Dallas, TX.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
"I Don't Know What I Want to Do."
Do you sometimes feel you're the only person on Earth who doesn't have a direction, path, destiny, or job? Does the saying "The future is now" make you squeamish as graduation nears? Do you ever want to run to the tallest building you can find and shout from the rooftop, "I don't know what the hell I want to do with the rest of my life!"?
If so, you aren't alone. Every morning, countless people from all walks of life and every stage of their careers look themselves in the mirror and wonder, Am I in the right career? What do I really want to do? Discovering an occupation that you enjoy, are qualified for, and manages to keep you in a lifestyle you aren't ashamed of is a difficult thing that many people never achieve.
The problem isn't a lack of jobs. The economy seems to be growing and performing well. In some parts of the country, storefronts abound with "Help Wanted" signs. The problem is that many of these jobs are low-paying, unskilled service jobs. C'mon, nobody's goal after graduation is to become a server at Boston Chicken or a sales associate at the Gap.
Jobs are easy to find. Anyone can find a job by opening up the Sunday paper. Discovering a career, profession, and calling you are passionate about and then developing a career path is much tougher. It's ironic that for many people finding a job is often not as hard as choosing what you want to do.
How Do I Know?
How do you decide what career path to pursue? It's logical to think that your major or degree would be a good indicator. Yet countless students spend four or more years and go tens of thousands of dollars in debt pursuing a specific course of study, only to realize they are in the same boat as when they entered school: Clueless.
Others may have an epiphany during their junior year and discover, "I really hate accounting, but it's too late to change my major. What am I going to do?" This clarity of thought also comes to many new professionals after about two years, when they realize, "This job sucks. I didn't really know it would be like this." Not long after, resumes begin to be updated.
Many people can't tell you exactly what they want to do, but they can tell you what they don't want to do. Sometimes knowing what you don't want can be just as valuable as having a clear picture of your career path (which, by the way, not many people have). Eliminating certain careers from your list can actually be a great place to start. You may have a preconceived notion of what a field is like, or you may have decided you want to work in a certain job or for a certain company. But once you try it, you might discover it's not all you thought it would be. If this is the case, don't get upset. Chalk it up to experience and consider yourself lucky that you didn't waste several years of your life pursuing something you ultimately would have hated.
Knowing what career to pursue doesn't come as a lightning bolt or message from the gods. It is a process, a journey of discovering what you like, what you don't like, and where your talents lie.
This chapter will give you some tips on how you can take the first step on that journey.
No One Can Tell You What to Do
We look to parents, professors, campus career counselors, and other job gurus to tell us what careers to choose, but the bottom line is that it's a personal choice that no one else can make for you (though many parents try). Have your parents ever said, "You want to be a what?" Talk about pressure. Can't you just hear some father saying, "My father was an accountant, I'm an accountant, and damn it, you'll be one, too." How much bad blood and ill will has been caused by a child's career choice? We probably would have half as many accountants, attorneys, doctors, and dentists in this country if people would have looked at their own needs and desires rather than allowing their parents to live vicariously through them.
The first step in determining what you really want to do is not to let your parents or anyone else guilt you into a career. I understand this may be easier said than done in some families, but it's your career, your life, and your choice. Regardless of what career you pursue, your work will be a major part of your life. It will impact not only how you make a living, but your happiness.
Enjoy What You Do
Work is such a big part of your life that you'd better enjoy what you do. You should believe in and respect what you are doing.
Even if you aren't a workaholic, it's tough to turn off the switch and leave everything at work. Remember, everyone gets the same twenty-four hours in a day. Some people just use their time more wisely than others. During your twenty-four hours, you might sleep at least eight a night, and you will likely work a minimum--yes, minimum--of eight hours. More than half of your waking day will be spent at work. This means you'd better enjoy what you do and the environment you work in.
How Do I Discover What's Out There?
Don't limit yourself to thinking that the only companies that will hire you are those that come to your campus or are in the newspaper. Many companies never go to campuses to recruit and others only go to a handful of campuses (maybe twenty to fifty at most).
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