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Career Orientation – How to Find and Get a Job Fitting to You

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When people talk about finding and getting a job, they often think about preparing the perfect application and mastering the interview(s) and or assessment centers to finally being the selected candidate. That’s of course part for finding and getting a job. However, successfully mastering the application process starts before writing the first application.

The process starts with getting to know yourself: What are you good at doing? What do love to do? What differentiates you from others, what’s your unique selling point? And, not to forget, what work conditions are important for you to be successful in your work? Without being aware of your skills, interests and values, it’s tough to search for jobs fitting to you. Moreover, it’s then tough to convince potential employers about your competence and motivation.

Hand in hand with self-assessment goes the process of getting to know the job market: Which career options does someone with your background have? Which companies or institutions offer jobs which fit to your profile and interests? What are the long-term perspectives in a specific career path?

Both goes hand in hand not only because you need to find a job fitting to your profile, but also because it helps you to become clear about your individual profile. It might be even possible to “create” a job fitting to your profile, when you are able to convince potential employers that they need someone like you or by founding your own business covering needs not already covered.

Furthermore, knowing yourself and knowing the job market might help you to identify which further skills you need to develop or which experiences you need to gain to finally get your dream job. You might find out about additional trainings needed. You might consider doing an internship. Or you might look for opportunities to undertake further tasks in your current work environment helping you to gain additionally needed experiences. Thereby, you improve your personal effectiveness and add skills to your profile.

If you know which job you want and feel (fairly) confident to carry out, then it’s time to prepare your application papers. This involves marketing yourself! Now, you need to convince potential employers that you are the right person for the respective job. Therefore, writing a easy-to-read, well-structured application with relevant information about your background, experience and motivation is the first step. When being invited, a convincing self-presentation, verbal and non-verbal, ensures your success. If you change between sectors, you might need to “translate” your experiences.

In all these stage, some of our services might be helpful: We offer workshops targeting these steps of knowing yourself, knowing the job market, marketing yourself, and improving your personal effectiveness. In Career Impulse Sessions, guests and alumni tell about their careers and career opportunities in different sectors. If you would like to discuss and share experience with your peers in similar situations, a peer-coaching group could be the right solution. If you need more individualized support, you can make an appointment with me.

And there is much more you can do: Online self-assessments – such as MyIDP – could support you in getting to know your skills, interests and values. Career and trade fairs are a great place to network and get to know potential employers. Search announced jobs on online job boards and learn about job profiles potential employers are looking for, read tasks related to a job and descriptions of requirements for applicants. Online networks like LinkedIn, XING or ResearchGate allow to establish and maintain professional connections. Lot’s of providers of additional training exist; however, this market is large and confusing, if you do not know exactly what you need. Additionally, lot’s of associations exists and may provide networking opportunities.

However, pick wisely what you really need and what really benefits you in your job hunting process. Investing in your career development does not necessarily means to spend your whole day with those activities mentioned. The most crucial part is to gain work experience fitting to your intended future career. Nevertheless, therefore it is needed to be clear about your career goals and related relevant experience.

If you do not find a career event fitting to your needs, consider organizing it yourself! It would, for example, be possible, to organize a topic-specific career day with interesting guest speakers to network with. That’s not just a good chance to get career input, but also to build valuable skills. If you miss something or have an idea, contact me and I will be happy to support your initiative.

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Author: Katrin Wodzicki

Hi, I am Katrin, the coordinator of the GGNB Career Service Unit.

One Comment

  1. A good source for information about the regional job market is the Industrie- und Handelskammer (IHK). For example, they offer fact sheets as on the following page for regions in Lower Saxony: http://www.hannover.ihk.de/ihk-themen/konjunktur-statistik/fakten5.html

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