How to expand your career options

By Felicity Dwyer | Career change

Sep 18
career choice options different professions

Are you limiting your career choices because you don’t really know what kind of jobs are out there?

“Teacher”, “Waitress” or “Working at the Co-op”. These are currently my primary-school daughter’s top job choices, based mainly on the working people she comes across in her day-to-day life. Her awareness of different careers will I trust expand greatly before she leaves school and makes her way in the world of work.

I wonder how many of us unwittingly limit our career choices to jobs that we already know about? Is there a job just out of sight, that could you perfect for you, if only you knew about it?

If you know you want to make a change, but don’t yet feel you have your perfect job in focus, it’s time to do some research. Here are some ideas for expanding your options:

  • Allow yourself to get curious about careers. Ask yourself, what does an auditor, or a pharmacist, or a graphic designer do each day? Approach people in your existing networks or via a social networking site like Twitter to ask if they could tell you about what they do. Ask people you meet socially about their jobs – what does the work really involve, what do they like about it, what are the drawbacks?
  • Explore job sites to see the type of jobs being advertised across a range of different sectors. Large sites with lots of different jobs include Monster for general jobs, or Prospectus for not for profit jobs. For me, moving from the private to the charity sector suddenly opened up a lot of interesting opportunities that I hadn’t even been aware of. For example, roles with the title Development Officer, that involved all kinds of interesting work to develop and manage initiatives and projects.
  • Have a look through newspaper ads, not necessarily for jobs you are qualified to do now, but ones you might like to do in future. Or take a look at the Job Sectors section of the graduate careers site www.prospects.ac.uk. Even if you are not a graduate, you might find some great ideas here.
  • A Google search for “unusual jobs” throws up some interesting links and resources. The jobs themselves may or may not appeal, but could get you thinking a little differently.

If you currently feel stuck in our career, give these exercises a go to see if they help you to expand your career options. They might even be the first step towards a positive career change.

A professional career coach can help you to find a new direction and make a positive change. Find out how I can help you

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Contemplating career change or job search can feel daunting. Download this free toolkit full of resources and tips to help you feel more confident about your next steps.

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About the Author

Felicity is a career coach. She help people who want to change career, start a freelance business, or build their confidence. Felicity writes about career and business development, leadership and personal effectiveness.

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