[PART FIVE IN A SERIES]
It’s a simple, well documented fact: People who are happy in their jobs are eminently more successful over time than those who are not. Yet, because many people fail to plan their careers – – letting circumstances or other people dictate their paths– they often get stuck in jobs they hate, cutting down on their effectiveness and, ultimately, their success.
If you are new to the job market or are seeking a different type of job, begin planning your career by asking yourself the following questions:
What kind of skills and abilities do I have?
What kind of work would bring me a sense of accomplishment and meaning?
What sort of occupation would be compatible with my religious beliefs and practices?
Having the right information about yourself is key to developing good decision making strategies for breaking into the job market. If your strength lies in interpersonal contact, for example, you will not be happy with work that requires endless hours making and analyzing computer data entries. If, on the other hand, you are not a “people person”,
a job in sales is probably not for you.
To assist you in exploring the job options that are accordant with your skills and personality, you might turn to published resources like The Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Once you’ve identified an occupation that might interest you, do a little homework. Start by visiting your local library and checking the card catalogue under “vocations” or “careers”. Evaluating the short and long term pro and cons of each option will help you make a decision. Afterwards, you may want to conduct informational interviews with individuals involved in the kind of work you are thinking about. Find out what they like and don’t like about their occupations. Ask if they have any advice on getting into the
If you are still unsure about the kind of work you’d like to do, consider meeting with a career counselor at a community or private counseling service. While career counselors will not choose a career for you, they can administer tests that will help determine your strengths and weaknesses, as established in last week’s column. Finally, don’t be afraid to make a job decision simply because you’re apprehensive about making a mistake. Look around among your family, friends and associates—most are no longer working for the employer who gave them their first job. People change jobs, industries and careers as their interests, skills and opportunities change.
There’s only one thing that doesn’t change– your need to take the first step.
If you know of a job opening please contact Professional Career Services at 732.905.9700 or Lakewood@nj.pcsjobs.org
Agudath Israel of Lakewood, NJ, Community Services, Inc.
Yoel Tolwinski, Director of Placements
Shoshana Smulowitz, Director of Placements
Daniel Soloff, Director
Agudath Isreal of America, Community Services
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(This article first appeared in the Hamodia)