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Three Questions to Ask Yourself 

Where do you start looking for a new job or career? Begin with understanding yourself. Identify your strengths, interests, skills, and accomplishments. Discover where you want to go, and how to get there. Developing a personal connection to potential careers will make your job search more fulfilling and successful.

Who Am I?

The process of knowing who you are starts with self discovery – identifying your priorities, passions, and preferred work environment. The better you understand yourself, the easier it will be to make the right decisions. You will be able to select jobs and careers that support who you are and what you believe in. Determining your skill set will help you target the jobs and employers that will most appreciate your strengths. Answering the question “Who am I?” is the beginning of career exploration. 

Here are some tools to get you started:

  • Self Discovery Resources -   Try our tools that will identify your interests, personality type, and preferred work environment.
  • Do You Know Your Skill Set? – Understand how your experience can translate into skills that employers are looking for.
  • mySkills myFuture – Find careers with skills that match the ones you already have.


Where Do I Want to Go?

It may seem hard to think about the many potential career paths ahead. If you are like most job-seekers, you can easily say exactly the type of work that you don’t want to do, but find it difficult to say what type of work you do want to do. Once you have defined who you are by recognizing your skill set, strengths, and interests, you should begin to focus on careers that play on these strengths. 
 
You can target the industries, organizations, and positions that best match your talents and personality. Conducting labor market research will help you find out about job and employer trends. Research the companies that may be seeking employees with your skills, and create a target list of companies. Other tools include informational interviews, which can enable you to learn if a career or company is right for you. You may also want to consider starting your own business.

Here are some tools to get you started:

  • Professional Development Plans – Create a plan that applies to your skills and knowledge, for both individual growth and career progression.
  • Job and Employer Trends – Research the jobs that are in demand, sectors that are hiring, and employers who are looking for someone with your skills.
  • Informational Interviews – Schedule these interviews, which involve talking with people who are doing the kind of work that you would like to do.


How Do I Get There?

Getting where you want to go involves taking action. Defining and setting a specific job goal will give you direction. Once you have set your goals, you will need to decide how to reach them. Think of your goal(s) as a road map to get you where you want to go.  Consider if you need to develop new skills or acquire additional education and training.  Keep in mind that you can also look at associated jobs to gain some related experience while you complete the training you need.

You may need to overcome obstacles, including outdated concepts about employers and older workers.

Here are some tools to get you started:

  • Education and Training – Find out if you need more education or training to get the job you want.
  • Set a Specific Job Goal  – Learn how to set a goal that gives you a target to aim for, and is consistent with your skill set, values, and interests.
  • Do You Need a Career Coach or Counselor? -- Career professionals are individuals who charge a fee to make your job search more successful. Think carefully about your needs before making your decision to use a career professional.
  • Employers and the Older Worker – Be aware of concerns that employers may have about hiring older workers so you can address them during an interview.