Making career decisions
Understand the concept of a career in today's world, learn about the current world of work, and explore the range of jobs people are doing in your industry of interest.
A typical career path in the past involved obtaining a job for life. This used to mean job security whereby the organisation looked after you and you could expect to steadily work your way up the company ladder, steady progression up an organisation promotion structure within the company.
Recently, factors such as technological growth and consumer demand have changed the world of work, resulting in a shift away from a job for life to career development which is a lifelong process.
It is a combination of:
- Work experience
- Community involvement
- Life roles
- Enterprise activities
- Cultural activities
- Volunteer work
Change is everywhere. The world of work is constantly changing and we must rely on ourselves much more for stability and direction. In order to do this we need to be aware of the changes that are occurring in the current world of work.
Which industry is for me?
It’s important to make sure your career decisions are informed by a realistic assessment of available information rather than relying on assumptions you or others may have. Some of these assumptions may have gained credibility over time, especially if they have been reinforced by the media and people whose opinion you value.
Have you got the right information?
The myths and realities quiz lets you test your own career assumptions.Take the quiz
Change is everywhere. No longer are there short periods of change followed by long periods of stability. We have to learn to live and prosper in a world of constantly changing demands and possibilities.
All this change and possibility happen in an environment where the past does not necessarily prepare us for the future. Some of these changes include technological change, globally competitive markets, new patterns of work and higher educational requirements.
There has been a series of unmistakable trends in the world of work, such as:
- Downsizing of many larger companies and government departments to remove layers of staff, particularly middle management
- Reducing businesses to core operations only and contracting out non-core activities
- Replacing tenured positions with contract positions
- Mergers and takeovers
- Highly competitive tendering
- Routine jobs being replaced by technical equipment
- Setting quality assurance and customer service standards
- Competency-based selection techniques
- Commercialisation of employment agencies
The results of these changes and trends are now having a major impact on our lives and we must rely on ourselves much more for stability and direction.
We are constantly being reminded we need to operate as a 'company of one' and be flexible enough to respond quickly in this ever-changing environment.
The current world of work
Some examples of the changes you can expect in the current world of work are:
- Undertaking 6 to 10 different jobs throughout your lifetime
- Increased responsibility for planning and managing your career
- Less stability and security within organisations
- Involvement in education and training throughout your life
- Developing portable skills to ensure employability
- Keeping up to date with labour market trends
- Spending time unemployed
- Holding temporary and short-term positions
- Working towards a job that does not exist at present
- Constantly aiming to acquire new skills to increase your employability
The world of work is constantly changing and it can be challenging to access up-to-date information about specific occupations you are interested in, and about careers in general.
The Internet can be a useful source of career information, and the careersnz website used in the following activities is a good place to start.
When we think about career development, we need to consider our lifelong career interests.
In order to maximise your graduate job prospects, it is important to have a range of career options available to you. The following activities assist you to explore the opportunities that may be of interest throughout your career.
Why consider my options?
Exploring my career interests
In order to fully explore all the opportunities available to you, it is worthwhile considering ALL of your interests. Although you may have decided on an occupation to follow, your career may lead you in multiple directions over time.
For example, you may be interested in Accounting as your main occupation, but you have a real love for sport. Have you explored this love for sport? Could you consider a future career within the sporting industry, or perhaps you may want to work as an accountant within a sporting organisation.
Either way, it is worthwhile considering now, in the chance that an opportunity presents itself.
Researching my career of choice
Although you may have a set career in mind, there are often a variety of jobs available within each industry and profession to choose from.Download
To enable you to keep up-to-date with your employment opportunities, make sure you visit the careersnz website. It will allow you to investigate and explore your career interests, which may provide you with an opportunity to ready yourself for future employment challenges; preparing you for the changing world of work and employment.
Exploring my industry
Having found a potential industry of interest, explore a little further to see if it is really the path you want to follow.Download
It’s important to keep expanding your network to gain support, tips and advice on current and future career opportunities.
You may also like to use LinkedIn to help build your network.
Consider approaching professional organisations as well as potential employers.
Start to compile a list of people you could approach for more information about your chosen occupation or industry.
Exploring my networks
Your network may include friends, lecturers, fellow students, family, current or past employers, people you know from clubs and other activities and more.
This work includes material from the following sources:
Steps to Success. The University of Queensland. Retrieved from: http://www.uq.edu.au/student-services/new2uq/steps-to-success/course-decisions Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Australia License.
Hero image: Green grass. pixabay.com. Image retrieved from: https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-grass-plant-dew-53615/ Licensed under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal license.