One of the great things about a career journal is that you can use it to identify new industries and possible opportunities for career advancement. The information contained in your career journal can help you assess both your current skills and interests. Once you have identified your current skills and interests you can use a tool called the Skills Profiler located on careeronestop.org to discover careers in new and existing industries that might be better suited to you. After you have determined which careers are of particular interest to you then you can do some basic research online to see which industries have the greatest need for those specific careers.
Take a few minutes to look through your journal and make a list of all of your skills you have used past. These could be skills that you obtained through both paid and volunteer work. Highlight the skills you use most frequently and those for which you are especially good at. Then take an inventory of your various interests. Think about what you are passionate about and what brings you the greatest sense of fulfillment. Visualize yourself working in this field. What role would you be playing? What would your day-to-day responsibilities consist of? Now, find a family member or friend and run your ideas about working in this field by them.
The second thing you will want to do is to visit careeronestop.org. This website offers a skills assessment called the Skills Profiler. The Skills Profiler steps you through a series of forms that allow you to identify skills and activities you have used on the job or elsewhere. This leads to a customized Skills Profile that includes:
1. A summary of identified skills and work activities.
2. A list of occupations matched either to skills or work activities.
3. A link to Occupation Profiles for more detailed occupation information, as well as links
from there to the Employer Locator for names of employers in their area.
4. A "Compare to Another Occupation" feature that identifies similarities and differences
between the selected occupation and another occupation of interest.
You can use your Skills Profile to:
– prepare for interviews;
– write resumes and cover letters; and
– explore further career paths and training options.
Now it is time to do some basic online research to find out which industries cater to the specific careers that you identified using the Skills Profiler. Ideally, these practitioners should align with both your current skills and interests. Read the occupation profiles provided in the Skills Profiler. Look up the projected growth rates for these careers. Get information on the current and future direction of the industries that offer these types of careers. If the industry you're interested in is declaring then you may want to look for similar industries which have a better trajectory.
As you can see, keeping an updated career journal can be instrumental in helping you to identify potential new industries that you can pursue. By assessing your current skills and interest and using a tool such as the Skills Profiler you will discover many new career paths available to you. Moreover, when you couple this information with a little online research you will be able to quickly determine which industries are the most viable and offer the most career advancement potential.