Sunday, 27 January 2013

"What do I want to be when I grow up?"

“What do I want to be when I grow up?” is a question that most people think about as a small child up to when they are an adult. This question has popped up into my mind frequently as the years have gone on, and I’m sure this is the case for other young professionals too.
Since securing my new job, I’ve been thinking about my own career progression, I’ve even spoken to various employees at IPC to get some insight into how others careers have developed. The insight I’ve gained is a useful prompt for my own thinking about where I want my career to go. Recently, this has become a prominent thought in my mind than ever before, and I think that the earlier you start to think about your own career progression, the better. The years before becoming a graduate can play a crucial role in career development, and below are some of the ways that you can think about what career path you want to take.

Work experience
Whether you agree with it or not, work experience is fast becoming necessary to get into the publishing industry. Even those with work experience under their belt are finding it difficult to get a job. Work experience can be a successful vehicle to securing a job but it can also help you to discover what career path you want to take. For instance, you might be thinking about getting into marketing, but then you complete a work experience placement and your mind changes. From this perspective, it is much better getting varied experience down on your CV to help you discover where you may want to start your career. Therefore, use work experience as a vehicle to discovery to enable you to get closer to your desired career path.

Career profiles
Some of you may remember previous blog posts where I’ve mentioned the Prospects website as a great resource for interview preparation, but it also has a great career profiles section. You can select the job that you are interested in, e.g. ‘personal assistant’, it will then present you with a profile of this job describing all the possible duties of a personal assistant. I really recommend this website if there are a couple of career paths that you’re interested in. The Prospects website contains extensive profiles where you can read up on salary and conditions, entry requirements, training and career development. Prospects is definitely a website that is worth spending some time on if there are a few career paths that you’re interested in.
Find the Prospects career profiles on publishing and journalism here.  

What don’t you want to be?
If you have a few career paths in mind and you’re finding it tricky to narrow it down, change strategy and start to think about what you don’t want to do. For example, I know that I don’t want to be a salesperson or a journalist. Once you have your list, you can then start to think about what you might like to do instead. Grab a pad, pen and write down what you would like to do, e.g. designing flyers, writing articles or web design. Once you have your interests use the Prospects website to find out a bit more about the jobs that these areas full under. For instance, everything I’ve just described could point to an online or marketing assistant job.

Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that you’ll know your desired career path after completing the above activities, but I’m sure you’ll be a few steps closer to discovering what you want to be when you grow up. 

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