Explore Career Fields Activities

You should explore career fields activities to make sure your career goals fall in line with your personal strengths and passions. This will help ensure future job satisfaction.

People often make the mistake of choosing a career path based solely on pay, only to discover (after years of training and education in many cases), that they really don't like what they do. Perhaps you've already experienced this (I know I have!).

Use the information to guide you through selecting your ideal career. As you explore career fields activities below, take notes along the way to refer back to later. This may be the single most important task when you're evaluating your ultimate career goal. Spending time doing the research now will save you from frustration later on.

Research the Industry

Find out what's going on in a particular industry or field you're interested in. A great resource for finding out information about a particular industry or field is O*Net Online, a U.S. government site that allows you to research industries, jobs by job title, jobs by skills, jobs by interest, etc. There's a WEALTH of information on this site. If you haven't quite decided on your perfect career, this is a great place to do some research.

Another great place to explore career fields activities is through your local library. Most public libraries contain the latest information on industry trends along with pertinent analysis (industry growth, occupational outlook, etc.).

Career Voyages is another federally funded site that shows industry trends, and provides great information about different occupations and industries.

Another no-cost way you can explore career fields activities, and find out information about a particular industry or field is by researching posted jobs on any job search engine (for example Monster or Career Builder).

This is a great way to research the demand for a particular position in a specific area, and also gives you an idea of what companies generally require for the position, and different types of benefits that are being offered.

Questions To Consider:

  • Is the industry I'm interested in growing? (if it's not, but it's something you really want to do, don't worry about that for now).
  • Does this career choice highlight my strengths?

Research The Occupation

When you find an industry that appeals to you, and seems like a good fit based on your passion and aptitude, find someone who works in the field.

Don't make the mistake of choosing an occupation just because the industry outlook is good, and offers what you consider to be great pay. Before you spend the time, money and effort on acquiring additional skills and eduction, find out what it's like to be what you want to be.

The best way to obtain this knowledge is by talking to someone who already does what you want to do. For example, if you're considering a profession as a pharmacist, talk to someone you know who is a pharmacist (or the pharmacist you regularly use). Ask questions about what they like/don't like about the occupation. Keep in mind, though, that some people may be biased and slanted one way or the other. Keep an open mind when you're talking to someone about what they do.

You can also find information about occupations on the internet by performing a keyword search in your favorite search engine (you can also use to explore career fields activities). Just type in something like: "what is it like to be a pharmacist" and you will likely get dozens of results.

Bookstores and libraries offer great resources for searching, as well. A whole series of books exist called "Careers In..." and include dozens of industries. You can find specific books by using a specific online bookstore search engine (such as Amazon's search tool). Explore career fields activities by using the search tool to find books about the career you'd like to research, and then check them out from your local library, or purchase new or used copies if you'd like to own them.

Questions To Consider:

  • Would I enjoy this occupation?
  • Will this occupation provide what I'm looking for?

Job Satisfaction Versus Pay

Ideally, just about everyone wants a job that they both enjoy and that pays well. Although job pay may be a determining factor for you, there are ways to do what you enjoy that don't necessarily pay well in the traditional sense. Take teaching for example. When most people think of teaching careers, they think of elementary or secondary teachers, or possibly a professors at a university. Amazingly, many corporations hire trainers to teach their workforce (and these jobs usually pay well). And if you've ever read Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" books, you know how he took his love of teaching and created an entire, multi-million dollar business around it.

As you explore career fields activities, keep an open mind with regard to non-traditional ways to get paid for doing what you love to do.

The point here is not to get too bogged-down in what a certain occupation pays. You may want to do some research, however, to get a general idea of what people are making in that occupation. If you're thinking about changing careers or industries, be sure to see what entry-level positions are making.

Several websites provide salary information for many occupations, and you can even find out what the position pays by zip code or Metro area (U.S. only).

Need a raise? We can help.

Questions To Consider:

  • Will I be able to live comfortably with this salary?
  • Are there non-traditional ways to consider this occupation to boost my earnings potential - i.e. consulting, coaching, owning my own business doing this, etc?

As you explore career fields activities, keep an open mind and don't become discouraged when you find you have to start all over. It's better to find out now that an occupation may not be a good fit for you than realize it after you've spent time and money pursuing skills and education in a certain field.

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