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December 9, 2019, by Leah Sharpe

How to research a career or job (and what it would involve)

By Alex Owusu, Employability Officer

Trying to think of the career or profession that would be right for you can often feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. With countless numbers of jobs and industries to choose from, it can easily feel overwhelming – where do you possibly start? With research!

Research is a great way to build your knowledge (in any area) on a solid foundation and it can act as a great guide for decision making when it comes to choosing a career. Trying to research too many areas will be time-consuming, exhausting and more than likely be an inefficient use of your time so it’s important to look at steps you can take to research a manageable list of careers or jobs:

Assess yourself

You’ll want to make sure that you’re focusing your research efforts on areas that you hold a genuine interest in and fit with you as a person. To do this, it’s important to have a clear idea about yourself, which involves taking an honest look at your skills, experiences, values and personality. From this you’ll have a greater understanding of what energises you, what you like and don’t like doing and what would be important to you in a job role. There are useful online tools that can help you do this, which you can find through our website.

Narrow your options

Once you’ve had the chance to complete these self-assessments, you can begin narrowing down areas to find relevant job profiles that match your interests, skills, personality and motivations. Look at making a list of a few jobs and see if there are common themes among them, as this could give you some specific direction as to what an ideal role for you should include.

Do thorough research into these job roles

Now you can begin to do a deep dive into the job roles you’ve chosen and start to build your understanding of these different jobs. It’s important to find out what each job involves including: what the responsibilities are, what the typical working hours are and the qualifications, skills and personal qualities required. The Prospects website is a good place for you to start researching job roles in greater depth.

Look at compatibility

Now you have a greater understanding of the job roles that you’re interested in, you can begin assessing which of them provide the greatest fit for you. Do the tasks and responsibilities you would have match your interests? Do you think your personality traits would fit well with that type of role? Where are these jobs typically located? Asking these questions can help you identify job and career areas that may not fit your personal profile as well as other areas. It can also be a good way for you to identify gaps in your experience or knowledge that you would need to fill for particular roles.

Get careers support

These are all good starting points but thinking about careers is not a journey you need to take alone. The Careers and Employability Service can help you research your career ideas and give you the tools to make informed decisions.

Visit our website for further ideas or book an appointment to chat to one of our Careers team.

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