Determining what career path is best for you is an important part of your transition to the civilian workforce. Here are some suggestions and resources to help you get started with the process.
STEP 1: Ask yourself these questions:
What do you enjoy? It is important to determine your primary interests and passions. Consider your favorite hobbies, courses, volunteer opportunities and employment experiences. What do they have in common?
What are your strengths? Take inventory of your skills. Identify the areas that you excel in and the skills that set you apart from others.
What do you value? Think about the things that are going to be important to you in your next career. Keep in mind things like work-life balance, compensation, location, travel and having a desk job versus a field job.
STEP 2: Research specific careers that interest you. Discover practical information that can help you determine the stability of the field, estimated future growth and average salaries. Talk to professionals in your career field of interest to learn more about what skills and experiences are needed to advance within the field.
STEP 3: Learn more about yourself and utilize these tools to learn more about the corporate world.
Books: The following books offer a diverse perspective on getting started in a new career path.
-What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles
-Encore Career by Marci Alboher
-I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What It Was: What You Really Want and How to Get It by Barbara Sher
-Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clinton
Tests: Career and personality tests can help you pinpoint your areas of interest as well as your natural strengths and abilities.
-Career Assessment Test – visit http://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip
-Personality Assessment Test - visit http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp
-Strength Finding Test – visit http://www.freestrengthsfinder.com/1-free-strengthsfinder-test.html
-Self Assessment Test – visit http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Who-Are-You-Meant-to-Be-Self-Assessment-Quiz
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