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3: Analyze Your Habits

Strategies for Your Career

Once you have identified your financial needs, your benefits requirements and what influences your career choices, your focus can shift to searching for the career you desire and making yourself look good to potential employers. Before you jump on the internet, make a strategy to help you search in an organized way.

Examine How You Research Career Options

When thinking about a career move, pay attention to what careers are in demand and projected to grow, pay levels for your desired occupation and the types of skills required for entry into certain fields.

Online Resources

Before you begin applying for jobs, gather information about potential salary ranges, skill requirements, the types of occupations that are growing in your area and what it takes to enter a new field. Fortunately, several reputable sites exist to help you sort through career listings and obtain information about different jobs:

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistic in the U.S. Department of Labor offers:
  • lets you learn more about occupations by keywords, industry or interest.
  • O*Net OnLine offers a number of different searches:
    • The Advanced Search gives five ways to search by your skills or the skills required for a specific occupation. (Hint: The Related Task search yields descriptive phrases to incorporate into your resume.)
    • A Crosswalk Search lets you enter job codes or titles to access the O*Net database of occupations.
    • Find Occupations offers keyword, work clusters (areas in the same field), industry, job zones, growing occupations, sustainable, job family and STEM occupation searches.
  • Jobs and Career Information offers a portal into many different career fields and links to the Occupational Outlook Handbook for detailed information.
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What Do You Know About Your Career?

Use one or more of the online resources listed above to complete the following sentences:

  1. My current career is listed in the fastest growing occupations .
  2. My skill set is geared toward work in the field of .
  3. Some of the skills I currently use in my career also can be used in .

Now ask yourself:

  • Did your research yield results that surprised you?
  • Is there anything you need to do to secure your current position or start off in a new field?
  • What did you learn about the job outlook for your current occupation or a new one that interests you?
  • Will your expected earnings meet your minimum sustainable wage requirements?
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