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  • Self-Inventory
  • The decision to make a career move requires thorough research. Proper research will help you make sound decisions, decisions that are right for you. Good research will also help you establish a game plan and timeline for achieving your goal, regardless of whether the goal is advancing in your current career or making a career change. There are several government resources, industry organizations, and websites that provide information on professions and occupations.

    To help you develop your complete career game plan, download this Slideshare.

    • O*NET — This career tool site is powered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It allows you to search by profession and common career titles.
    • Educational or Certification Requirements —It’s important to stay current on specific educational and/or certification requirements per industry and state because they may change and can vary from state to state and district to district. Also, certified professions often require an internship or practicum. Careeronestop.org offers a licensed occupation career tool  to help you identify license requirements in per state. But, again, always contact your individual state for confirmation.
    • LinkedIn Groups — There are several profession and industry groups you can take a look at and potentially join. A LinkedIn search within the group’s category should list several options.
    • Professional and Industry Organizations and Societies — You’ll also find professional societies and organizations for different professions. Joining a career group or visiting the individual sites is a great way to learn more about a career you are interested in pursuing.
    • Check Job Boards and Job Requirements and Identify Employers — Visit job boards to review job requirements and the qualifications requested within the job descriptions. This will also help you begin to identify potential employers.
    •  Research the Industry and Markets You’d Consider — Research your industry of interest and its particular job market in your state and/or community. Many states provide location-specific information on current industry trends and industry job growth within their state.
    • Census sites such as www.census.gov can be helpful in gathering such information. Their County Business Patterns page provides economic and job specific data by state, right down to local zip codes.
    • Careerinfonet.org, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, offers employment trends and forecasts at the state and national levels, wage charts, and employment levels/percentages for certain occupations at different degree levels.

    Make sure to outline and document your findings for your reference. Also fine tune the your career goals and steps needed to get you where you want to go. Supplement your research findings by reading about professionals already in the field. You can gather valuable information by leveraging your network and other available networks as your next step.

    To help you develop your complete career game plan, download this Slideshare.

    Next in this Series: Leverage Resources and Networks

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