If you really think about it, a big part of your life is spent pursuing your career – from your school years to your 30s, 40s and 50s. In fact, it can be argued that you go through most of your educational journey so you can get the career you want.
With this in mind, it’s extremely important to find the right career. But how?
Well, spoiler alert: there’s no set formula. So many of the success stories we see around us have gone through different jobs at different times.
While we can’t give you the set answer, we can share some valuable tips and principles that will guide you on the right track. As always, we’ve roped in the experts to help – this time its Ms Ng Mei Chan, the Senior Manager of QIU’s Career Services and Placement Division. Take it away!
Get to Know Yourself
To choose what job will be right for you, you have to know yourself. Conduct a self-assessment of your goals, interests and relevant skills so you know what you want from a job and whether you’ll be able to succeed in it.
Whenever possible, try to find a job that you’re passionate about and that matches your personality, aptitude, interest and skills. Of course, you should also be considering its future prospects. Ask this simple question: can this path provide for my future goals?
Put Yourself Out There
Once you have narrowed down your choices, begin exploring each of them through different networks. It’s very important that you look beyond the online world. Of course, sites like JobStreet can work miracles but you shouldn’t just rely on them.
All of us have a network of our own. Tell your friends and family about your career search and how eager you are for a job because you never know where an opportunity will come from. Your uncle might have a friend who has a son who has a dog who goes to a groomer who knows a business owner who’s looking for a new worker like you.
Sure, it’s far-fetched. But why limit your chances? Anyway, it won’t do any harm. Employers are looking for people who want to be hired.
Be the Best Version of Yourself
To get selected, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. The key to riding the wave is to keep upgrading your knowledge and skills so that you stay relevant.
Do this by developing a range of transferable employability skills that are valuable across different career paths and sectors. You must be highly adaptable, flexible, resilient and be able to master strong interpersonal skills.
If you’re between jobs, don’t let the time go to waste. Take an online course or work a part-time job so you can get some new skills or perspectives. At the very least, watch some videos online to improve your soft skills. There are tonnes of videos on YouTube about how you can become more confident, charismatic and well-spoken.
Employers of today are looking for people who have skills that cross different disciplines. If you’re an engineering graduate who’s a great public speaker and a Photoshop whiz, you might be more valuable.
Do Your Homework (especially for the Small Stuff)
The internet gives you untold resources for free at the tips of your fingers. We beg of you, please make use of them. You won’t believe how many prospective hires have a bad resume that makes them look unprofessional. There are so many resume templates and examples (as well as spell-check software) available online.
Even before applying, you should ideally do a job analysis. Understand the company and the job before jumping into something.
It’s essentially the same thing as the first point we mentioned above. Write down the skills and attributes required and match it against your skills. Figure out the additional skills that will add value to the job and jot down the experiences you have related to those skills.
This will help you highlight the right stuff when you’re preparing your resume. Your interview will be a breeze as well because you and your interviewer know what you can bring.
Be Open to Help
It also helps to build and maintain a good professional/social network which you can use to tap for new opportunities. If you’ve already worked before, keep in touch with your colleagues. This network could also help you find a mentor or coach for career growth and success.
This can all sound a bit overwhelming, but if you make the right choice from the outset, you’ll find avenues where you can get help.
At QIU, the Career Services and Placement Division is one of those avenues. This division is a comprehensive resource centre for students and alumni, providing the services and information that will assist you in successfully meeting your career objectives and the strategies and skills necessary for your career development.
We empower you with a series of professional and personal development programmes such as resume building workshops, job interview and presentation skills, professional etiquette, and much more in order to enhance your employability skills.
The sooner you start working towards the future you want, the likelier it is that you can turn your dreams into reality.