Thursday, October 25, 2012

Top 5 Resources for Career Searchers

We make life so complicated, we forget that it can be simple, and that there's more to life than work.
... Meanwhile, I still want a job! [Credit: Tony Buzan via Mindwerx]

Hello, friends!

This is a small list for people who may be in the same situation as me, looking for a job and also trying to figure out a career. The former can be unbelievably hard to accomplish when you're still deciding what destination you're aiming for! D: I've found these online resources to be pretty helpful in finding out about different careers, getting an idea of future job projections and figuring out where my salary stands while in a job/looking at job offers:
  1. Occupation Outlook Handbook - Created by the BLS, the American government's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the OOH is a wealth of information and completely available online. You can search by field, education level, median pay and growth rate, among other quantifiers. Once you click on a specific title, such as "Art Directors" within "Art and Design," you'll be led to a page where you can read up on the nature of the job, the pay, similar occupations, further contacts, etc., and it's all very easy to navigate. Aside from the Handbook, the BLS also constantly updates on the state of employment and inflation throughout the U.S., so you can read up even more and get an idea of how industries are moving.
  2. O*NET Interest Profiler - Part of, which also has other career resources for those who do know what they're searching for, the Interest Profiler is essentially a quiz you can take to help you determine what careers may be right for you. From the start, they encourage you not to think about the education/training required or the pay of the job, but to base your answers on what you would honestly like or dislike to do.

    There are 60 questions total, and once you complete the quiz, you are given your results according to six categories, Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. You can see in what region your work interests lie, then narrow results by Job Zone (different numbers correspond to how much preparation is needed). Once you see the careers, you'll also be able to see what they suggest as "best fit" or "great fit," as well as what they've marked as "bright outlook" or "green." Click into the career title, and you'll be taken to a page with more details in an easy-to-read bullet format.
  3. Monster+Yahoo Career Tools - I used Yahoo! Hotjobs back in the day, when I wanted to get an idea of a certain job's salary. This is still offered as the Salary Wizard, where you input the job title as well as geographic area. Now that time has passed and Yahoo has partnered with Monster though, there are a lot more features and tools available. It can be a little overwhelming, and this is a resource I'm still exploring as well, but I see so far that they've got some interesting sections like "Career Snapshots" to suggest jobs based on individual preferences and "Career Benchmarking" to compare yourself against national percentiles. It also seems to have a community component, where users can weigh in or comment to share their own experiences.
  4. Living Wage Calculator – Gives a detailed breakdown of how much you need to make to stay afloat by geographical USA region. Details out estimates for food, transportation, housing, etc., and also includes categories according to number of people in the household, such as one adult or single adult with one child. Courtesy of Dr. Amy Glasmeier, Pennsylvania State University.
  5. Salary Calculator – Originally a UK site, there are different calculators that allow you to see how much you’re making annually according to your hourly wage. Or, if you want to work it backwords, how much someone is valuing your hours according to your annual pay and time put in.

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