How to Find Careers Information

by Waller Jamison

Finding out exactly what a particular career or job involves, the qualifications and training needed to get started and the long-term prospects and opportunities for promotion are all important considerations when it comes to making a careers decision.

If you haven't had much careers advice at school and even if you've had more than average, it's unlikely that you have much idea about what is available. That's because there are thousands of potential career choices and these are growing as industries develop and new ones are set up.

No one could possibly keep up and so if you want to find the career most suited to your abilities and interests, you must be prepared to do some work.

Make a list of things you enjoy doing, the skills you already have and those you would like to learn. Write an imaginary job description which lists everything you'd like to have in a job.

It doesn't need to be completely realistic, it's just a starting point.Next do a series of searches on Google, based on the information on your list, for example, look for jobs using music, languages or maths.

Or search for jobs involving writing, using computers, or in the theatre or new media. Other general terms you could use are jobs involving travel, working with people or working with animals, jobs helping the environment, adventure jobs, jobs helping people.

And so on - simply substitute your own preferences. The aim is to come up with a list of job titles which appeal to you. As you search you may find some interesting material, new jobs you'd never thought.

And you might find that you have been put off jobs you'd previously thought would be fun. Once you've made your list you need to prioritize your ideas and then find out what it takes to get into the careers you've chosen to look at more closely.

 I've made a list of websites for the main English speaking parts of the world. If you live somewhere else, just do a search on the name of the country and the word careers, as in "Australia careers" and you should come up with main websites. Don't use the word jobs at this stage, as this will tend to bring up actual job vacancies, rather than information about careers.

Once you have the big picture, you can search for jobs to give you a clearer picture of what individual employers are looking for. The sites listed below give information on pretty much any career you can think of.

Most of them provide details of the job, qualifications, skills and personal qualities needed and prospects. In fact, just about everything you need to know about getting into a specific career, whether you are just leaving education or contemplating a career change.

Careers in the UK

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/YoungPeople/index.htm

This will take you to the A-Z index, where you can look up any career you are interested in.

Careers A-Z

http://www.careersa-z.co.uk

Careers in the US

http://www.acinet.org/acinet

Careers One Stop


Occupational Handbook

http://www.bls.gov/oco/

 Careers In Canada

http://www.workingincanada.gc.ca/content_pieces-eng.do?lang=eng&cid=1

Careers in Australia

http://www.careersonline.com.au

Careersonline

Careers in New Zealand

CareerServices

 http://www.careers.govt.nz