Another step on your journey brings you to a deeper understanding of how to choose between what you want, what you think you want and what you should have wanted if you had known you could want it. (If you missed this step, see my story on finding your compass). OK maybe I ought to explain that.
Whenever I ask clients or friends what they want in their careers, many answer in general terms, repeating what they have always said, or explaining what they think will make them successful. What’s missing are the details.
Did you ever spend a day at work with one of your parents? If so, you may have spent the time in the corner drawing pictures and consuming mountains of free doughnuts. What if I could create a time machine that would send you back to that office to see just how that job is really performed? Well, good news! There are tools out there that you can use that are even better than that old time machine idea. It’s called Vault.com and the site is an online career media center. The really helpful feature, called “Day in the Life,” is an hour-by-hour report of the average day for almost any profession you can think of under the sun.
Have you ever wondered what an assistant wind developer for a power company actually does? Or how many hours an entry-level scientist works? Maybe you were interested in learning about a typical day for a magazine ad sales rep? At Vault.com, you can choose from an ever-growing bank of professions and their hourly breakdown.
This type of information, placed alongside your lifestyle choices, can be half of the map to career happiness. We tend to think of things like status, industry growth, and that little thing called money, when we start to formulate ideas about a direction in our career. Yet the happiest people love what they do on an hour-to hour basis. Day in the Life can also allow spotlight certain aspects of a career that you thought you liked. Not a fan of meetings? Then maybe being a marketing director isn’t for you. Or maybe you are a bit weary of working within large teams? Then aiming to be a corporate interior designer isn’t a good choice.
The site is more than just this one feature. Snoop around a bit. You can read advice on everything from career changes to typical interview questions for a specific job. It’s a great resource for those still wondering what they want at this stage of the journey.
Of course there are other great career orientated websites out there, such as smartbrief.com where you can sign up for industry related newsletters. Make sure you investigate your possible choices now, rather than a month into your new position as human resources manager at a manufacturing plant. The more you know, the better your chances for success, however you define it.
Jason Veduccio is a hard-working entrepreneur following his dreams, and he wants you to dream, too. Drawing on his experiences working with companies on marketing, technology, hiring, and workplace issues, his regular column will demystify the job search process and identify strategies for moving up the corporate ladder. Founder of In1Concepts, Jason also knows the ins and outs of launching a new business. He welcomes your questions and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.