This nation has been suffering from unemployment for too long now. The unemployment rate has plummeted, and fast. And if you've found yourself in the mix (as I have a few too many times in the last 4 years) of the jobless, then let this not be the end of you. Let this be an opportunity, not a hindrance. This can be just the opportunity that we all need to awaken us to the most fulfilling future ahead. But don't stop here. Read on and you'll find some great resources to help you not only discover what career path would be ideal, but tips to help you discover your unique talents and abilities to make you the best you you can be.
Tip 1: Discover who you are (your strengths, weaknesses, desires, fears, etc.)
This may seem obvious, but don't treat it like every other cliché. This is probably the most important aspect of obtaining a full and satisfying life. Discovering who you are, you can conquer the world because you'll know your strengths, weaknesses, desire, fears, and so much more. You be equipped to handle every situation that comes to you cause you'll know what it will take to be victorious. For example, if you know that you are analytical, you are then equipped with the knowledge that you'll be successful at a specific number of professions and not others. This narrows the playing field, and allows you to rise to the top.
Okay okay. I know you are so angry I'm just blabbing and not telling you how to discover this. Well, two years ago I came across a quality person. His name is Dan Miller and his book is "48 Days to the Work You Love." Whether you want his book or not, he's got an amazing resource that gave me 30 sheets of paper describing my personality, gifts, strengths, weaknesses, career choices, etc. It's called the "Career Profile" and I highly recommend it. It'll be the first step toward being in control of your happiness.
Tip 2: Talk to people who know you.
This step may be the most uncomfortable and annoying. Uncomfortable because you have to admit to those closest to you (if they already don't know) that you are either jobless or looking for another opportunity somewhere. This may be annoying because most people have a completely different view of you than you have of yourself. My mother once told me that working with children would be a perfect job for me. Well, I disagree. I love children, and have two of my own (another on the way), but that doesn't mean I would work well with children. So it kind of annoyed me.
So choose wisely. Pick those friends and family members who know your passions and fears as well. And even if they give you an entirely different view on things, that may be very helpful. Sometimes people can see things we choose not to look at or are utterly ignorant of.
Tip 3: Make a list of everything you've discovered thus far.
Making a list is key to organizing your thoughts. And organization is soooo important. This will allow you to map out everything so it's not all jumbled together in that massive brain of yours. ;)
List out topics such as: strengths, weaknesses, passions, fears, problems, likes, dislikes, good careers for you, bad careers for you, and whatever may help to help organize your thoughts and the information you've discovered about yourself. You can do all of this on paper (of course), but if you'd rather keep it all on your computer, there's a great program (that's FREE!) at TheBrain.com. It works with Windows, Mac, or Linux.
Tip 4: Visit websites of professions that you may be interested in.
If you've followed the preceding steps you are well on your way to finding the career that's perfect for you. This next step may be a little daunting because there are literally thousands upon thousands of career paths that are available. And then there are that many websites about those professions. Let me help you a little.
An extensive website that covers many job opportunities is Craigslist (which you don't need to visit to be successful). They have a job section with categories such as: government, general labor, writing, and even an etc page. This may be an excellent start (even to get ideas of career paths you may be interested in).
More sites include:
The goal here is to just visit a few sites to learn about those jobs and what it takes to enter that specific field of choice. I recently created a website teaching people what a paramedic or EMT is and how to enter that profession. Many people simply want to know what the paramedic salary (<-- link to my site if you're curious) is, but that's okay. I just wanted to help people if they are interested in that career field. In the future I may create more sites particularly focused on other professions. I find it can be very satisfying to help people fulfill their passions in life (thus the creation of this article).
Tip 5: Absolutely do not let yourself get downhearted about who you are.
I have found that I can get pretty depressed when I look for jobs. I see positions that I'd love to do and I think that I couldn't possibly be good at it. Or better yet, I'll think that if I get an interview, they won't possibly choose me cause everybody out there is smarter, faster, and more talented.
Don't think this way. Just think, I'll be more persistent. Calvin Coolidge has a great quote:
"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence and Determination.Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
Persevere through those tough times. Whether those tough times are just your thoughts or events happening to you. Endure. Persevere. Persist. Hustle forward. You will obtain your goal. It took Thomas Edison over a thousand times to figure out the lightbulb. Abraham Lincoln lost tons of other elections before becoming president. And you will fail, but that's part of the process of success. If you are not succeeding, you are not failing enough.
I'll end with a quote by Henry Ford.
"Do you know that whether a person thinks they can be successful or thinks they can't, either way they are right."
Here are a few careers that may peak your interest:
To your future!