Assess your situation - how to assess your employment situation
Getting to grips with your employment situation
Most people, at some point in their lives, will find themselves looking for a job.
Whether you have just finished school or college, graduated from university, have been made redundant, are going back to work after bringing up children, are unhappy in your current job or are even contemplating a complete change of career, you will have to go through similar procedures in order to secure the right post.
As we spend approximately a quarter of our week at work, it is vital that we are happy in what we do for a living.
Therefore, taking your time to find the best job for you is of the utmost importance and requires a certain amount of thinking, planning and preparation.
The first task to carry out is to "assess your situation". Doing this at the start of the process will save you time, money and sleepless nights in the long run.
Choose your field
Whatever your situation, to get an idea of the type of job that will best suit you, you need to determine which field of work appeals to you the most.
If you are interested in secretarial work, you can then subsequently narrow your job search to the admin - clerical category of various newspapers, websites and agencies.
There are tens of categories to choose from including management, finance, catering, tourism, arts and culture, media, marketing, Internet, Human Resources, transport, telecommunications and many more.
If you are unsure about which field to choose or if more than one appeal to you, make a list of all the categories that you think you may like to work in. This list will be your starting point and all subsequent decisions will stem from here.
Are you qualified?
It is perhaps a good idea to consider at this point, whether you have the correct qualifications for the type of jobs in the fields that you have listed, whether training is available or whether you have the time and money to study in order to achieve the necessary titles and certificates.
Just because you don't have specific exams, doesn't mean that you are not the ideal candidate for a particular job. You may have enough life experiences, intelligence or motivation to be considered for that post. If you want a job badly enough, do not give up at the first hurdle. These days, employers are mainly concerned with specific skills and experience rather than exam certificates and grades.
Remember that you must be realistic when making your career move. Even though you may be passionate about football and watch all of your team's matches at their home ground, this doesn't mean that you qualify to become a professional footballer, especially if you have two left feet and no coordination.
Similarly, you may have a love for music but can't sing to save your life. In this case, you won't make millions as a professional singer but it would be possible to have a career in the media, work for a radio station or in a recording studio, set up music events or find a job in other music-related spheres.
List your skills
This is very important as you will have to list your skills on your CV
and you should also be prepared to talk about what you are good at during your interview
It is a good idea to think about this at the start of your job search, as knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you work out which job you are most suited to and will also give you confidence in yourself.
Make a list of all the skills that you have acquired inside and outside of the workplace. For example, being reliable and punctual are highly commendable skills for any job, whilst assertiveness and being organised are skills that employers would look for when searching for a candidate to fill a managerial position.
The above are probably the most essential points when choosing the right job. Below, we consider other factors, which in some cases may also help determine the best position.
For some people this is a decisive factor when deciding on a job. Mobility can mean a number of things. For example, how far are you prepared to travel to get to work? Do you have your own transport or close access to public transport? How much time would you be prepared to spend on getting to work. Do you want to work from home? Would you be prepared to relocate for the perfect job or travel abroad in your new job? It is a good idea to figure out what you are prepared and not prepared to do in terms of mobility before applying for a specific position.
Not everyone's ideal job would entail working the usual office hours of 9 - 5pm. Some people prefer to work shifts whilst others may have to work around their children.
When determining your line of work it is also necessary to consider whether this field of work requires working unsociable hours, shifts, weekends etc.
Once you have thought about the above and have some idea of the type of work that you would like to do, you are ready to move on to the next stage. See our guide to looking for a job
- to help you get one step closer to bagging the ideal position.