If you are still searching for rungs on the career ladder, then you should probably take the time to check out these online tools that can help you explore new careers.
Some career counselors say that the average American changes six to seven careers in a lifetime. Not just job hopping – but complete career U-turns. It’s difficult to pin this down as no study has tracked careers across lifetimes and all working classes, but it is true that people do change careers more easily than before. You could blame more opportunities, a more flexible workforce with cross-functional skills, or just the yearn to follow passions.
Gauging your attitude and aptitude for the right career is easier with online tools and career counselors. But to truly understand your dream job, you need to dive deeper, get an “insider’s look” and decide for yourself if that job is a fit for you. Here are four under-the-radar websites and an iOS app that can help you explore new professional paths.
This startup is definitely one of the better ways to research a potential career by looking into a company and probably the closest you can go without being a fly on the wall. The career planning site is not simply about uploading a resume and applying against a vacancy, the Muse focuses on helping career seekers get a better understanding of the kind of jobs they should go for. It does so with a cocktail of career advice, photos, and videos to help find the company culture that works for each one.
You can use the search and filter to follow specific companies in the industry of your choice. Take an inside look while finding out about the available jobs you can apply for. Check out a brief on what the office culture is like, connect with a few employees, and follow the company on social media – each of which might improve your job prospects.
It is their expert blog that appeals to me more than the career tools and job search feature. I mentioned it on my short list of company blogs worth reading and though the site is about U.S. jobs only, the blog gives you some universal takeaways for thinking about your career.
Learn How To Become (LHB) wants to be your one-stop guide for anything related to your career – “from picking the right school all the way to climbing the company ladder”. The site has partnered with educational and employment experts like the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching and College Navigator to compile all the information on careers, from the creative and the technical to more vocational ones.
The easiest way peruse the offerings is via the menu at the top of the page. Let’s say, you want to become a writer:
Check out how to build the foundation and the steps you need to take. Sections like What Do Related Occupations Make with average job salaries and comparison charts help you look at how this career can pan out over time. If you are researching alternative careers, this could be the first stop to understand the basic requirements and the anticipated job market. For some professions, options for online degrees and other external resources are a great help if you are looking to start fresh on the side.
Raise Your Flag is an innovative startup that’s attempting to strike a different path in the career journey – vocations that doesn’t need a college degree. I am calling it “vocation” because when you don’t have the landing chute of a college degree, your passion for the job helps you make the jump and land at the right place. As they say on their Reddit thread…
About 45% of Canadian & US high school students don’t go to college after high school (not including the ones who do and never finish). These kids leave high school feeling like they’ve failed the system.
Turns out, there’s a lot of things they can do without a degree and more surprising for some, there are tons of companies who will hire them.
Browse the site by Industry and go into the career paths for each. For instance, the career path of a cartoonist looks somewhat like this:
Even as the startup continues to add more information to each career path, you can use the clues on working styles, what it takes, and desirable qualifications to plot your job search. Also, check out the fledgling blog for some inspirational trailblazing stories like that of Jacqueline the writer.
This unique vocation resource continues the spirit of doing something “different”. Use the site to find jobs that are outside the corporate mainstream. This could be a resource to try out if you are yearning to escape the cubicle. From being an elephant protector to joining up as an astronaut for the first Mars One mission in 2023, the picks are as varied as they are not for the faint-hearted. Fortunately, you can use a slider to narrow down on a job that’s anywhere between safe or wild.
If you aren’t the intrepid type, head to the site’s blog for tips or read the inspiring escape stories of people who left their white collars for exciting opportunities around the world. Who knows you could turn it into a new career doing marketing for a yoga retreat center like Jessi Richmond.
Good.co is a free iOS app. More than that it is a self-discovery engine. You might have the skills, but not everyone can fit into every organizational culture. Yes, every company has a nature of its own, and the right fit goes a long way in upping your career curve. Good.co is designed to help you find that company whose “Fit Score” matches with your own personality type. The app uses fun (but seriously psychological) tests – a Proprietary Psychometric Algorithm – to identify your professional style and match you with current and potential employers and teams.
You can log into the app with Facebook or LinkedIn. Good.co also uses social collaboration to match you with your professional circle of friends. Matching you with colleagues or friends is a measure of your personality and the kind of work culture you should look out for in your job hunt. You can not only use the app to find the company that’s right for you, but also use the insights to improve your present work relationships. Looking at the screenshot above, I think I should try out for Amazon.
What Is Your Best Advice For Career Reinvention?
In life, you need a Plan A, Plan B, and a Plan Z. The job market of today is not static. You might be undecided about your career or could be thinking of a changing tracks. The best advice on career reinvention comes from Herminia Ibarra, the author of Working Identity.
She recommends that we should de-risk the process and do as much of a proposed new career as possible before committing too much to it. One way is to experiment with new activities, connect with new networks of people, seek mentors, and constantly explore our own multiple professional identities. Finally, decide when to abandon the old path in order to follow the new.
Do these tools help? What is your own advice? Which are the best career related tools you would recommend for exploring new paths?
Image Credit: Concept of a Businessman via Shutterstock