Choose a Career that Suits You!
New beginnings are always good. Maybe you're looking for a new job, maybe you would like to change your current employment, or maybe you would even like to start your own business or work as a freelancer. It is important, when considering a new start, to make sure that what you would like to do fits in with what actually suits you.
A career is about much more than the actual job you do - it also concerns your work environment, working hours, training opportunities, and also whether you would like to work fulltime or perhaps on a contract, or even choose to be temporarily placed by an employment agency.
Not every job consists of a nine to five working day. Some careers require shift work, such as nursing, hotel employment or call centre work. Other jobs may be at different hours of the day, such as restaurant work which may only be in the evenings. Some options require you to balance your own hours - for example, if you are a freelance journalist, you would work when you have stories to write, at any time of the day or night. You may also be happy to work flexible hours at temporary jobs, such as being a secretary.
It is important, when thinking about a job, to consider what factors need to be taken into consideration - do you have children to take care of, is transport an issue, do you need time for extra studying? Basically, do you have other commitments or responsibilities that could prevent you from having different working hours? Make sure that your working schedule fits in with the rest of your life.
Do you like working alongside other people? Do you enjoy a friendly, chatty work workplace or do you prefer a quiet spot where you can concentrate? Is physical comfort of great importance, or are you happy to make do with the basics? Do you want to be behind a desk or on the move? All of these are important when considering employment.
For example, if you like working in a crowd, then a call centre, with its busy, bustling environment, would be fine for you. Other jobs, such as working as a hotel receptionist, require you to be part of a team. If you are in manfacturing, you may be working in an industrial or workshop environment. If you're in IT, you may be working in relative isolation in a corporate space. Evaluate your personal needs before you choose.
Training and further learning
Would you like to receive training on the job? Or would you like to have the chance to study further, outside of working hours, to improve your career prospects? Find out what training and studying options are available from your employer if you are considering a new job. If this is important to you, it is vital that you know what is being offered - or not offered.
If you are not 100% sure of your career path - and it often takes a few tries to figure out what is best for you - then get on-the-job experience in a field that interests you by volunteering for an internship. You'll not only find out if this is, indeed, the career for you, but you will have valuable work hours to add to your CV.
To volunteer, do your research and find out what companies or employers you would like to work for. Contact their Human Resources (HR) department and explain who you are and what you would like to offer. Have a CV and, if possible, references, ready to present.
Make sure you're doing what you enjoy!
Ideally, every person would like to have a career that they really enjoy. One way to get close to this aim is to choose employment that corresponds as closely as possible to your personality, skills, like and dislikes.
Do you love maths and quietly working away at figures? Then a career in accounting, or as an actuary, or even an IT developer, could be for you. Do you like working with your hands, creating things? Then consider a career that is more hands-on, and offers the satisfaction of practical accomplishment. Do you like meeting new people? A career in tourism, or the hotel industry, could be perfect. Be honest about your likes and dislikes, and it will make your search for a suitable career that much more pleasant!
For more information on jobs, visit our Women and Work section.