Open post A pen lying on a blank piece of paper - Titled: Writing Your Resume Starting from Scratch

Writing Your Resume – Starting from Scratch

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

You’ve probably heard about the importance of customizing your resume for every job description. But what if you don’t have a good base resume to start with? Or maybe you have one, but it could use an overhaul.

Sometimes it’s best to start back at the beginning to make sure your resume is appropriate for the position you are going for.

Here, we’ll walk you through, step-by-step, how to create a resume from scratch so that you can start your job search on the right foot.

Choosing Your Style and Fonts

If you aren't sure how to style your resume, you’re in luck.  We’ve done the research for you. You can find tons of templates for free, like these Office templates or you can develop one in Canva with a free membership. Once you have settled on a style you can start thinking about the formatting.

There are some general formatting rules that you’ll want to follow. Firstly, go with standard fonts such as Times New Roman or Calibri.

Next, make it no longer than one-page front and back. Additionally, use plenty of white space, and have no more than six bullets per job or experience.

Finally, you should stick to mostly black and white, with possibly one additional color for emphasis.

Choose a Base Format

The standard and most used resume format is reverse chronological. In this type of resume, you list your most recent work experience at the top and then move backward. It is appropriate to only list the last 10-15 years; this commonly involves listing three to five positions.

Another less common format is a functional resume. Functional resumes place emphasis on your relevant skills, rather than your work experience. You would be inclined to use this format if you are just starting out, a recent graduate, or switching fields.

There are also hybrid or combination resumes, which combine elements from reverse chronological and functional resumes. You will want to use this format if you have gaps in your work history. This format lets you highlight your skills without calling attention to any employment breaks.

In most cases, you’ll want to go with the standard reverse chronological format, first mentioned.

What to include in the Header

A header includes essential information that the recruiter or hiring manager needs to understand who you are and how to get in touch with you. It also might include information that can help them get a better idea of your career path, and where you see yourself going.

Ensure that there are no typos in your header because this may prevent whoever’s looking at it from reaching you, which would really set you back in your job search.

In your heading, make sure to include your name, your phone number, and your email address.

There is some question about whether it is still appropriate to include your home address in the header. It would be necessary when applying locally and the work will be in-person.

When applying for a remote position, just listing your city and state should be sufficient.

Additionally, you should list current your job title. Some additional information that is optional to include would be your LinkedIn profile, a website, or any other relevant social media platforms you want to showcase.

Now that you know what to add, let’s go over what you should purposely leave out. A safe rule of thumb is if it isn’t relevant to the position you are applying for then you don’t need to share it.

You can forego adding your date of birth, as well as any photo of yourself, as detailed by US guidelines as means of avoiding certain types of discrimination.

However, if you’re outside of the US you’ll want to check what the etiquette is regarding photos because in some countries it is customary to include them.

What are Summaries and Objectives?

You’ll need to decide whether writing a summary or objective in the header is appropriate for you and the position you are going for. Currently, a summary or objective seems only necessary when you are just starting out, don’t have very much on-the-job experience, or are switching fields.

This section allows you the space to match your skills with the needs of the position you are going for, so they are obvious and clear.

Summary:

A summary is a two-four sentence summary of your career. It is where you highlight your most relevant skills. It should include numbers and measurable achievements to back up your strengths. It can also include volunteering or other experience that is applicable.

Objective:

If you are making a career shift, an objective might be more appropriate than a summary.

An objective includes a summary of your work experience, but the bulk of it should be spent describing your goals and reasons for your career change.

In doing this, it’s important that it explains how your knowledge and skills from your previous work are relevant to the field you are entering.

Work Experience

Listed at top of your work experience in bold is your job title, the company name and location, and the dates you worked there.

Underneath each title, you will list your achievements and responsibilities in the role. These descriptions should contain three to six bullet points speaking to your responsibilities. You should always want to show, rather than tell, what your skills are. This can be done by listing percentages, numbers, and specific achievements as much as possible.

Education

In the education section, you should always include the name of institutions attended, your program or major, and the years ended. You can also include relevant courses and academic achievements, honors, or awards. You may also wish to include your GPA but only do this if it is especially high.

Volunteer Experience (Optional)

If you have volunteer experience that is applicable to the field you are entering, it’s a good idea to showcase it on your resume.

This is especially important if you don’t have a ton of relevant work experience. When listing volunteer experience, follow the same format as work experience.

Skills

Hard skills

Hard skills are concrete abilities or areas that you have training in. These skills are needed to fulfill specific job duties or tasks.

They are often listed in job descriptions as essential or desired qualifications. Some examples include a specific certification, typing speed, or the ability to speak a foreign language.

Soft skills

Soft skills are difficult to measure with awards and numbers, but this does not mean that they are any less important. In fact, including them on your resume is crucial.

Soft skills are applicable to pretty much any line of work. They are what make others want to work with you and are essential to your success in the workplace. Some examples of soft skills are time management, adaptability, and empathy.

Writing your resume from scratch can feel like a daunting task, but using an email template and following our tips will have you ready for your new job search in no time.

We hope you found this guide useful, and that it made the process of creating your resume less intimidating. For more personalized advice on crafting your resume, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Contact@quardev.com!

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Open post Blog Title: You Can Get There from Here - Getting the skills you need for the job you want. Image: Several people in the forefront and background helping each other scale the side of a shadowed mountain side.

Getting the Skills You Need for the Position You Want

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

What’s standing in between you and your dream job? It’s probably less than you think. If you are interested in gaining skills for your career development  - stick around! We've got some unconventional ideas for how you can gain the skills you need for the position you want.

Check out this list of some ways that you can get the experience and skills you’re missing...without having to get another degree.

Volunteering

You can find volunteer opportunities in pretty much any area. There are many sites that help connect you with positions in your area, such as volunteermatch.org and justserve.org.

Benefits of volunteering:

Develop soft skills

Through volunteering, you will develop many soft skills that are transferable to your next job. Some of these skills might include time management, communication, and empathy.

So, while it might be better, for career development purposes, to volunteer in a relevant industry, any volunteer experience you have is going to make you a better candidate for most jobs.

Give back to the community

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your local community and give back. When you volunteer, you really do make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Helping others is a great thing to do, and this will be reflected in your own sense of purpose and happiness. It also shows potential employers that you care about your community and the people in it, which speaks to your character.

Get relevant work experience

Volunteer experience is extremely valuable to hiring managers. In fact, in a survey by Deloitte, 82 percent of hiring managers said they were more likely to choose candidates with relevant volunteer experience.

What’s more, 85 percent said that they would be more willing to overlook other resume flaws if a candidate had volunteer experience.

Volunteering is a very helpful way for you to get experience related to your desired job. It’s also a great way to learn more about the industry you’re interested in going into.

And it helps you stand out on a resume by showing that you are dedicated to your field and helping make your community a better place.

Learn more about yourself

Volunteering is a great way to learn about yourself and your interests. Through volunteering, you might discover types of work that you really like, as well as work that you want to avoid in the future.

Volunteering is a fantastic way to explore some of your interests and test out if they are something you would like to pursue in the future.

Make connections

The people you meet while volunteering are likely to have similar interests and passions as you, and possibly similar career paths. This provides a great opportunity to discuss your goals and ideas, as well as build strong relationships.

Some of the people you meet might even be able to provide you with a great reference or share opportunities with you in the future.

Webinars 

Benefits of attending webinars:

Get up to speed and stay up to date

With our world full of technology, it can be tough to stay updated on the latest in your industry. But going out of your way to do so will be to your benefit. It helps you stay competitive in the job market.

In addition, it will make you a lifelong learner. Being a lifelong learner is not only good for your career development, but also for your brain and for your well-being.

Because webinars are so plentiful, and they often focus on topics that are current and relevant, they are a fantastic tool for staying up to date in your industry.

Flexible and convenient

A big draw of webinars is that they are so convenient. Because they are online, you don’t have to travel to attend one. This alone can save you large amounts of time and money. On top of that, many of them are available for a low cost or for free.

Additionally, the options for webinars are pretty much limitless. You can find an endless selection of live and recorded webinars online.

With so many different ones out there, you are bound to find some that will be useful to you, and that will work with your schedule. There are many websites that put together lists of upcoming webinars, so you can easily find ones that will be relevant to you.

Networking

You’re attending a webinar because you are hoping to stay up to date with current industry news and skills. And because you’re interested in the content. Well, so is everyone else there!

Webinars provide a great opportunity to meet and interact with like-minded people and build new professional connections. Don’t be shy to speak up if you have a question, a thought you want to discuss, or if someone else has a great idea you want to hear more about.

Most open positions aren’t even posted online, they are filled through networking and internal referrals. So, putting yourself out there can lead to opportunities that aren’t even being advertised, increasing the likelihood that you will find the role you’ve been wanting.

Easy access to recordings

Ever attended a seminar or lecture that you thought was interesting, but after a week went by you struggled to recall all the important details? Fortunately, since webinars are often recorded, you likely be able to find a link to them.

This feature of webinars is definitely a part of their appeal. Since they are recorded, you don’t have to worry about taking amazing notes, and can put more energy into actively participating in the dialogue. You can always go back and re-watch points that you missed or need to reinforce your understanding of.

Online Courses

Benefits of taking online courses:

Low-cost 

There are several websites that offer low-cost or free online courses. This makes them a great and accessible alternative to taking in-person classes at your local university.

You can find these on sites such as LinkedIn LearningCoursera, HubSpot, and Google Digital Garage - or simply by searching “free online courses”.

High-quality

Many online courses are offered by highly regarded and prestigious institutions. They are well-designed to help students learn most effectively.

Through these classes, you’ll have access to instructors who are experts in the field and can gain critical knowledge from them.

You stand out

Taking online courses in your own time demonstrates that you are motivated to learn and improve your skills. It shows that you are willing to take the initiative and go that extra mile to achieve your goals.

It also communicates that you have a genuine interest in the subject matter. These are qualities that are highly desirable to employers and will make you stand out as a great candidate.

Gain experiences you can highlight on your resume

Often in online courses, they will ask you to put together a project or presentation to demonstrate what you’ve learned in the course. When completing these assignments, it is important that you don't phone them in.

They may seem low-stakes and irrelevant to your career, but the more effort you put into them, the greater the benefit will be to you later.

These kinds of projects are great talking points in an application or interview. By including details about your experience with the course, you can prove that it was worthwhile and that you went above and beyond. This can bolster your application.

Courses can be as specific as you need

At a college or university program, your options for courses might be limited. You might need to complete certain courses that are graduation requirements, even if they are not necessarily relevant to your future career.

But with online courses, you can pretty much find any course you need. Everything on the web is available to you. Courses can be as general as an introduction to finance, or as specific as an in-depth guide to Microsoft Excel.

Gain credentials

Upon completion of the webinar or online course, they often give you a certificate. This is great because it is something specific to put on a resume that shows you have been working on your skills.

This can help to make up for where you are lacking in work experience or other credentials.

Convenient 

In addition, if you’re looking for a particular course, you might be out of luck due to scheduling conflicts or availability issues.

However, with online courses, there are so many options. In addition, they are often self-paced, so you can make them work for your schedule.

Mentorship

Mentorship is a long-term professional relationship that can benefit both people involved.

To choose a mentor, think about someone who you admire and whose career you take inspiration from. They can be a mutual friend, a family member, a past manager, or anyone else in your circle.

When you’ve found someone who you think would make a suitable mentor, schedule a meeting with them to explain the guidance you’re seeking and why you’d like them to be your mentor.

Understand that not everyone will be able to take on the time commitment that comes with being a mentor, but you are likely to find someone who has both the availability and the enthusiasm to assume this role.

Benefits of mentorships:

What a mentor can help you with:

Help you set and achieve your goals

You might not know how to turn your aspirations into reality, but a mentor can give you insights and ideas that may not have crossed your mind. They have a different perspective and can see things from a different vantage point.

A mentor can help you set goals, offering guidance and advice for your career growth. They have helpful knowledge about what it will take to get to where you are going from where you are.

They can also hold you accountable, and make sure that you are making progress toward your goals.  A mentor will also support you, providing encouragement along the way. One big benefit of having a mentor is that you don’t have to work toward your goals alone.

Help you connect to the right people or opportunities

Your mentor is a powerful connection to have. They probably know many people who would be great for you to work with. Your mentor will get to know you, and your goals, interests, and experience. Thus, they will be in a great position to connect you with just the opportunities you need to take the next step in your career.

Provides constructive feedback

Because mentorship is a professional relationship, mentors will be in a better place to provide you with constructive feedback than your close friends or family may be. Constructive feedback is important because it allows you to learn things about yourself that might not otherwise learn - the good and the less good.

Accolades are always easy to receive, but sometimes it's hard to hear improvements are needed. Both of these sets of feedback are important and necessary for your professional growth.

There is value in all of the feedback you receive. It's good to get an outside perspective, and within the mentorship, it should always be kind and helpful.

What you can help a mentor with:

Allows them to strengthen their knowledge

You might think that your lack of experience means that you have nothing to teach your mentor, but this is not true. As someone with an interest in their field and with a drive to learn more about it, you are a great person for them to exchange ideas and insights.

You also come from a different background from them, which means that you offer a unique perspective. In addition, teaching others is a great way for them to solidify and strengthen their knowledge.

Enhances their leadership skills

Being a mentor is a leadership role. They serve as a guide to help you achieve your goals. In doing this, they learn more about how to be a successful leader. If they are able to be a mentor, they show that they are effective in managing and helping others.

Leadership skills are extremely valuable in pretty much any career. The mentor can use these skills that they’ve acquired with you to further their career.

Helps establish them as experts in their industry

A mentorship shows that they have valuable knowledge to share, and also that they are willing to help others grow their knowledge and succeed in the industry.

This demonstrates that they are experts in their field and that others have a lot to learn from them. Being a mentor will add to their qualifications, and help them stand out in an application, or when looking for a promotion.

What you can help each other with:

Exchange ideas

Ideally, you and your mentor will share common interests. This means they will be a great person to talk to and bounce ideas off. Exchanging ideas with another motivated professional is a great way to stimulate creativity. In addition, it will help keep your interest and desire to succeed in the field alive.

The takeaway

The main lesson that we hope you take away from this is that whatever is holding you back from your goals, there’s a workaround. You have options.

With a little determination, resourcefulness, and support from others along the way, you can close the gap between your current qualifications and those needed to secure your dream job.

 

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Open post Title Image: A Deep Dive Into Your Job Search

A Deep Dive Into Your Job Search

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

As labor-intensive as it can feel, looking for a new job can be very exciting. It’s a fresh start. An opportunity for you to redefine your goals or get closer to the ones you already have.

But it can sometimes be tedious, and can even feel like a full-time job. This is why it’s so important to know what resources are available to you and how to use them.

That’s where we’re here to help. We’ve done the research on different types of job search platforms, so you don’t have to. And we’ve put together a guide to make job searching easier for you.

But before you dive into your search, it’s important that you’ve figured out what you want to do and have prepared for your job search. Check out our recent blogs for support getting through those steps.

If you are ready to get into your job search, keep reading for a guide to some tools available to you.

Networking

Networking is a very useful tool for finding jobs and is considered the most successful. Being referred by someone for a position is vastly different than applying, yourself. It always helps to know someone.

However, it’s different from other tools in that it’s an indirect pathway to a job. What we mean by this is that it’s not advisable to ask someone for a job when networking.

The benefit of networking is that it helps you build strong relationships. It also allows you to learn more about others and allows others to learn more about you. This way, when suitable opportunities arise in the future, you will come to mind and be recommended.

If you are unsure of how to find networking events, a good place to start is through alumni networks if you have gone to school or completed a course. Another great option is to look for events relevant to the position you are going for, held in your area through services like Meetup or Eventbrite.

If you don’t have access to events in your area, fear not, once you’ve cleaned up your social profiles (you can join groups or follow people in the position you see yourself in and begin building relationships. Not only will you learn a ton, but you will start to develop a community of people who are rooting for your success.

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind for successful networking:

·         Ask questions (remember, you want to get to know them too)

·         Offer your unique insights

·         A Thank You goes a long way

·         Find reasons to follow up

·         Ask for suggestions on expanding your network (the contacts you make will likely have many contacts themselves)

Job Boards

You’re probably familiar with job boards. These are platforms for employers to advertise open positions. They are a popular resource for job seekers. This makes sense. They’re relatively easy to use and cover jobs in many fields and locations. Some popular job boards include Glassdoor, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and you can find many more with a quick search.

Though you should not limit your search by solely using job boards, they are a great option, especially when paired with some of the other resources discussed in this article.

Here are some ways that you can make the most out of job boards:

·         Search with keywords (this could mean searching by relevant skills, companies that interest you, or the type of work you’re seeking)

·         Refine your search by location or remote options, depending on your preference

·         Review their resources (many job boards have additional resources such as salary estimates, employee reviews, resume advice, etc.)

·         Set up job match alerts

·         Follow up directly (after applying through a board, you can set yourself apart by reaching out directly to the recruiter or hiring manager expressing your interest)

Company Websites

Many companies post job opportunities straight on their websites. This is a great way for you to look for jobs at companies you’re already interested in.

Additionally, if you hear about an opportunity that really captures your attention (through a job board, social media, or some other medium) going straight to their website, rather than applying through other platforms is an efficient and direct approach. It could also help you stand out, as there might be a smaller pool of applicants.

Company websites can also be a great way to learn more about a company.  Being familiar with not only the role, but the company itself will be very helpful throughout the application process.

LinkedIn (and other social media)

LinkedIn is a widely used professional network. It is very useful but sometimes overlooked by job seekers. Many employers require you to send your LinkedIn profile along with your resume and cover letter. So, taking the time to update and optimize your LinkedIn profile will be incredibly valuable to your job search.

Here are some ways that you can make the most of the platform:

·         Have a professional profile photo

·         Have an engaging summary with proper keywords

·         Include a complete list of skills, hard skills, and soft skills

·         Proofread for errors in grammar and spelling

·         Keep your work experience updated

·         Include a full detail of your educational background

·         List important achievements, certificates, and awards

In addition to polishing your LinkedIn profile, it’s a good idea to be mindful of your social media presence as a whole and clean up your other accounts, or update your privacy settings. Check out our past blog to learn more about managing your personal brand and why it’s important.

Recruiters

There are many advantages of partnering with a recruiter. Recruiters are experts in finding the best-fitting jobs for job seekers because they are so familiar with the client and what they are looking for.

They have intimate knowledge of the requirements needed for each position, with a deep understanding of the culture of the company and what personality types would work best, for both parties. They are matchmakers for your career.

You may find there are some skills and professional development you need before you can acquire your dream job, recruiters can help you develop a plan to achieve your goals.

Recruiters can help you figure out how to get you to the position that you may not be ready for right now. No, they will not recommend you for a position that you are not qualified for, but they can show you the path of how to get there.

In addition, they can help you with your resume, assist in securing interviews, and provide valuable feedback and insights at all steps that you would not normally be privy to on your own. All those times you didn’t hear a peep after an interview would be no longer.

Your recruiter should be able to share with you what went well and what didn’t from the client’s point of view. This is invaluable knowledge because it allows you to learn from each experience; knowledge you can take to the next interview and really wow them.

And even after you’ve been hired, recruiters will continue to check in with you to ensure that you have everything you need to be successful in your new role. Throughout your time with your recruitment firm, your recruiter remains an asset to you and your career path.

You've Got This

There are quite a few things to consider whilst on your job search. The most important thing is for you to know your own limits. Experiencing overwhelm and frustration will not help you in this endeavor.

Take breaks when you need to. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. This can be a long process, but if your goal is set, and you show your true self with all your unique qualities and stellar skills, you will be sure to land the job that is perfect for you.

For job search advice personalized to your needs, please feel free to contact our team: contact@quardev.com. We are standing by and happy to help.

 

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Open post Image of Man Searching Sky - Title: Not Sure What You Want to Do? Let's Figure It Out

Not Sure What You Want to Do? Let’s Figure It Out!

3 Things You Must Start Doing When You Become a Team Leader

There’s a good chance at some point, you’ve been asked the following - “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This question may have been fun to think about as a child, but now that you’re an adult and the pressure is on, it can be stressful and confusing.

Whether you’re just entering (or re-entering) the workforce or you have been employed but are looking to take your career in a different direction, the first step to securing a job that you can thrive in is to determine your goals.

Even if you’re only planning for a minor career shift, or simply want to work at a different company, reevaluating your priorities and motivations can help you to go into your next job search with some clarity.

If defining your career goals seems intimidating, you are not alone. The stakes seem so incredibly high. How can you possibly take your interests, experiences, and dreams, and decide on one thing you are meant to do?

We’re here to help get you started on that reflection and make it a bit less intimidating. Keep reading for some very simple and fun exercises to help you realize your career goals.

Don’t worry about the “perfect fit”

The idea that your perfect career awaits you and you just need to find it, has been fed to many of us.  The pressure to find the ”perfect fit” can lead to having expectations that are unhealthy and unrealistic.

Take some of the pressure off. Don’t worry about finding the perfect fit, and just focus on coming up with some options that are a good fit.

Also, remember that choosing what you want to do does not mean that you’ll be locked into that career path forever. It’s actually quite common for people to make career shifts. In fact, a recent poll found that over half of middle-income workers are considering changing jobs right now.

Drop the “shoulds” from your life

In life, there are so many things that you are told you should do, in order to live your best life. Some of these are well-supported by evidence, like getting enough sleep most nights. But others, like the idea that you must receive a certain level of education to have a fulfilling career or that your path will be clear and straightforward, are not true.

All of these “shoulds” can cloud your judgment, and make it hard to get in touch with your true values and goals.

Before you go through the following self-reflection exercise, take all of your “shoulds” out of the equation. This might be tricky at first because so many of these thoughts are automatic but stick to it. The “shoulds” are probably not serving you as well as you think they may be.

Career assessments and personality tests

While career assessments and personality tests are not the end-all-be-all for defining your career goals, they are a helpful starting point. Many personality and career tests are not based on scientific method and haven’t performed well on tests of reliability and validity. But this does not mean that they can’t still be useful tools for you to use.

They can help you learn about yourself, your interests, your strengths, and your weaknesses.

Regardless of how accurate you find your results, taking the tests and interpreting them will encourage further introspection. If you find some careers that look promising, it might be a good idea to research those positions. For example, results may reveal strengths that really resonate with you. It might then be helpful to investigate careers that will require you to harness and apply those skills.

Here we’ve listed just a few free and popular career and personality tests (but there are many more available online) :

Career Assessments

•             The MAPP Career Test

The MAPP career test is comprised of about 70 questions in which you are asked to sort your likes and dislikes. It’s supposed to take about 22 minutes. It aims to help you discover careers that would suit your interests and fit with your motivations.

The MAPP test has held up to reliability and validity studies and has been used by many institutions and career counselors.

•             The Work Importance Profiler

The Work Importance Profiler is aimed to assess what’s important to you, and then show you careers that are compatible with your values.

Personality tests

•             The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one of the most widely used personality tests available. It takes about 20 minutes, and then upon completion, you are given a personality profile.

There are 16 possible personality types, that are presented in the format of four letters. The personality types are determined by whether you’re:

  1. Introverted or Extroverted (I vs E)
  2. Intuitive or Sensory (N vs S)
  3. Thinking or Feeling (T vs F)
  4.  Judging or Perceiving (J vs P).

The test will give you a brief description of your personality type, along with a list of strengths and weaknesses. It will also provide you with careers that others of your suggested type are excelling at.

•             The Big-5

The Big Five personality test will give you a score on five personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

This test should help you understand some of your tendencies and skills. Providing you with important factors to keep in mind whilst in your career search.

Questions to ask yourself

These questions are all aimed to help you learn more about your specific skills and interests, and how you can match those with careers.

The more detailed and true you are with your answers, the more helpful these tools will be.

What criteria do you have for your life?

To define your career goals, a good place to start is to consider what criteria you have for your life, both in and outside of work. This can include positive and negative criteria: positive things that you would like more of in life, and negative things that you would prefer to avoid.

For example, a positive criterion could be that you want to work in an industry that allows for promotions and career advancement. Or maybe you want a lifestyle where you can spend frequent time with family.

Whilst, a negative criterion could be you don’t want to work in a highly stressful environment, or that you don’t want a role that requires you to work during your personal time.

What are your interests?

This seems like an easy question, one you’ve likely answered many times but this time you will need to dig deep. When you were younger, what did you enjoy learning about?  What do you go out of your way to learn more about now? It’s helpful to understand what your interests are to gain insights into what you’d like to have in your life.

What are you passionate about?

The best and most fulfilling work often comes when you follow your passions. What is truly important to you? What are your values? Is there a topic that you could talk about for ages, or listen to others talk about without becoming bored?

What do you excel at?

Everyone has certain skills that just seem to come more naturally to them. This could be a specific technical skill such as coding, or it could be a soft skill, like empathy.

If you’re struggling to come up with answers to this one at first, it can be helpful to reach out to a close friend or someone who knows you well for insight. Taking the career and personality assessments will also give you a solid foundation to answer this question.

Who do you admire?

This question can really get you thinking about the qualities you value and can help you to direct your aspirations. You may think of people you admire for their job-related accomplishments, or simply for who they are as people.

Once you’ve determined the qualities you admire in others, you can begin to institute them in your own life.

How much additional effort are you able to put in to achieve your career goals?

There might be a certain job that you’re interested in, but it requires another degree or certificate. And maybe going back to school is just not practical for you at this point in your life. That’s perfectly understandable; going back to school is a huge commitment of time and money. It just means that you may need to get creative.

Depending on what it is you’d like to do, you may be able to find free courses that you can fit into your spare time. Self-directed learning has become more available and accepted.

Look for entry-level positions for the job you’d like. You may qualify for the position with the skills you have and then are able to gain skills and knowledge on the job.

There are many ways to get to where you’d like to be, they don’t all have to be conventional.

Find people on social media who are in your dream position and follow them. You will learn a ton about the industry, what it takes to make it, as well as potentially make valuable connections that can help you to achieve your goal.

If none of these are available to you, begin to pay attention to the aspects of your current position that you really enjoy. Focus on those. Does your current company have a position like the one you want? Seek cross-training opportunities to learn more and gain skills. After some time you will be able to apply those to the position that you are really interested in.

Conclusion

Ultimately, if you are not currently where you’d like to be, there are many roads you can take to get there. It’s most important that you just take the first step – regardless of how small that step may feel.

You are a wonderful collection of unique skills, experiences, and perceptions. And you are at your best when you are interested and invested in what you are doing. If you have it, take the time to truly get to know yourself. It will be the best thing you ever do. Future you will thank you!

 

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