A post by Patra Frame, ClearedJobs.Net’s HR Specialist
Are you trying to figure out your next career step? Many folks with higher level clearances just move into another job that requires the clearance because it’s easy. Those with lower-level clearances face more difficulties when they discover it does not automatically get them many opportunities. But they often still reflexively look within their current path.
Last month, the National Career Development Association released their “Survey on Working America”. Only 37% of respondents reported making a conscious choice when choosing a career! And 56% said they did not look at many options – but instead took the only job available, which looked interesting at the time, or chose based on the influence of parents/relatives/friends.
What does this mean to you?
First: You have far more choices than you have ever thought of.
That’s a boon and a burden. But do think about your options regularly – while you are in a job and when you look for a new job. A long career in which you move from A to B to C within your field is terrific if you love what you do.
Too many of us, however, got into our careers almost by accident and are locked in because we do not even think of what else we might want to do. If that is you, start looking at what other options exist. One great place to start, with free tools to check your interests and relate them to jobs, is the O*Net Resource Center.
Another easy idea generator is to take several skills you have which you love to use and plug them into a big job board, like Indeed or Monster, to see what interesting job ads pop up. A pattern there will give you ideas for jobs you might like and you can then explore each in more depth.
Second: If you do love your work, let it shine!
Every recruiter and hiring manager seeks candidates who love what they do and are at the top of their game! Make sure your entire marketing program for your job search demonstrates your achievements, your knowledge, and your enthusiasm. Show how you have grown your skills and enhanced your knowledge. Demonstrate that you are recognized as an expert or peer resource. Show off your professional association leadership. Make sure your references can talk to the fact that you are top-notch, high potential, or a real expert. Use social media to show your knowledge by helping others and being an expert resource in relevant groups.
Thanks for the advice, Patra!
Sage advice, Patra – Most of us focus on the survival – feed the family, pay the rent – work until later in life. Dick Bolles, “Three Boxes of Life” shows how we can balance out our need for fulfillment, learning, family and leisure.
I had to retire to ultimately do what I love. It was never a perfect time, but I was able to do a little at a time of what I loved and build a reputation while I was still employed. but never the twain shall meet. Doing a little of what you love, while preparing for the final opportunity to jump, is one way to go, but be careful not to cause a conflict of interest.
Your advice is right on target. Thanks for the resources!