By Rowe Leathers
Contributor, Career Services
Career exploration may sound daunting, but it is merely a process by which you assess your skills and interests. Think of it as having a menu from which to choose your likes and dislikes. You may find that a small component of your job role interests you more and realize that you have a strong desire to develop it. Take these opportunities to create a broader role for yourself or, if you prefer, a specialized role.
For those who are still uncertain of their career goals, career exploration may just be the answer. Don’t walk away from job opportunities just because they’re not your dream job. Working a transitional job can open up your horizon, so don’t think of it as wasted time. While they may sound uninspiring, these jobs are sometimes what we need in order to crystallize the direction of our career. By definition, transitional jobs help to shift the trajectory of our career path.
Taking time to explore a variety of potential career paths is an important part of your career journey. While you may be certain about the industry in which you want to work, the actual job role isn’t always clear. Rather than lamenting about having to “pay your dues”, use this time to identify and sharpen your skills. Transitional jobs should be viewed as more than just a way to pass time; they are opportunities for career exploration. The people you meet can help you build your network and possibly open new doors for you. Career exploration via transitional jobs is a great way to build new skill sets.
If your current job is not directly related to your dream job, work on your transferable skills.
• Communication: This skill transcends industry lines; try your hand at public speaking when opportunities arise
• Spearhead a project to master your project management skills
• Join committees as a way to segue into roles beyond your work duties
The journey to your dream job is peppered with learning opportunities; widen your horizon and see the many possibilities in front of you.