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Michael Clarke

SFU Career Services Practicum Student

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A student standing in front of a SFU building
There are a lot of tools out there that can help you understand more about your inner goings-on to make a career decision that fits you.

Transitions!!! Sleeping to waking, travelling from home to work and back again and switching from task to task are some of the more common everyday transitions that people experience.  Most aren’t life-changing and take place on a regular basis, so we tend not to think about them when they occur.

That being said, the mere thought of some transitions will send the bravest of us into a catatonic state.

Let’s test that theory.

Career Transition!

Still with me?  Did I lose some of you?  It’s pretty much a guarantee that you and everyone you know are going to go through at least one of these during your life. The realization you’re in a career/ field of study you don’t like (can’t stand, hate, despise etc.) may happen over a period of time, or it may hit you like a proverbial bolt of lightning.

It doesn’t really matter which category of realization you fall under, years of denial or epiphany.  The fact is you find, or maybe you have already found, yourself in the position where it’s time to move on to something new. You’ve invested a lot of time, energy and money in a career, or education, but the mere thought of continuing in the same position/industry/field of study for the next five to twenty years makes you dread waking up in the morning (if not outright suicidal as it was in my case). And it’s only Saturday!

Ummm, What now?

OK, you’ve discovered that you are not alone!  Phew. Still, what about those zillion questions flooding your already anxious brain? Maybe they sound something like this:

  • What am I going to do?

  • What are my options?

  • What should I do next?

  • What can I do that’s different from what I’m doing now?

  • How long will it take me to switch to something else?

  • How much will it cost to make a change?

(The last one is a BIG one for most of us, but just so you know the average yearly tuition fees for full-time students in Canadian universities for 2010-2011 were $5138 while an education degree can cost you as little as $2415 per year.)

I found myself asking these very questions not so long ago.  My answers to all those questions at the time were: I have no @#$% idea!  I knew I didn’t want to continue working where I was, but what would I do next??

Where do I start? 

Some of us already know ourselves pretty well, and will be comfortable just leaping into the industry/job research portion of your new career choice. But what about those of us that don’t? Do we go on a journey of self-discovery trekking through Nepal?  Talk to a yogi about the meaning of life? (Great experiences by the way but maybe not practical for most of you). Luckily for people like you and me, there are actually a lot of tools out there that can help you understand more about your inner goings-on.

Tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (a personality assessment), Strong Interest Inventory, and  Life Values Self Assessment test can help you start to work toward a clearer understanding of your values, interests, skills, and personality.   Another option is one-stop career sites such as Careercruising.com and Bridges.ca (log-in info available at Career Services).

These sites link your test results to possible career choices, give you a chance at exploring different careers, and provide information on related education.  This is only a shortlist of tools out there, and talking to a career advisor might help be helpful in narrowing down which are right for you.

Getting to know yourself – your likes, dislikes, values, strengths, weaknesses and passions – will hopefully give you more insight into what yellow brick road you might want to hike down towards that next great dream job!

A lot of information to absorb?  Got even more questions?

Well, just transition yourself over to your favourite coffee shop, grab a seat and give yourself some time to think about it!

 

About the Author

Michael Clarke

SFU Career Services Practicum Student

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