Tips on starting a career
Starting a career can feel like a daunting task. After all, this is potentially going to be the next 50 years of your life until you retire. Starting a career is seen by many as the start of stepping into the real world so you might feel like there is the additional pressure of getting it right.
While you may feel pressured to find the right career, the reality is that it is not uncommon to change your career path. After all, 50 years is a long time so you should not spend all that time in an industry or job you do not enjoy doing.
But let us not worry about that, we first have to talk about starting a career. This blog provides tips and tricks that will help start your career. Let’s explore these steps in more detail.
How to start a career
Before going into the aspect of how to start a career, you need to be aware of three things you need to consider.
Three things to consider before starting a career
Nothing will prepare you better for starting a career than a strong resume. That is right, believe it or not, but a piece of A4 paper can have big implications for your future. It is therefore important that you spend time not just polishing your resume but also adding valuable experience and skills to the position you are applying for. Remember, each resume should be tailored to the specific position you are applying for.
Hopefully, you have had the opportunity to gain a bit of work experience before starting a career. If not, then this is not necessarily a problem but it would help. The point is that previous work experience does not have to be necessarily related to your desired profession. The hope is that you would have gained skills in your previous experience that are transferable and that can be applied to other positions as well regardless of degrees or qualifications.
Being teachable will make life so much easier for your employers. Ask yourself how teachable you are. A teachable person is continually looking to learn, and grow, can ask for feedback and responds well to it. If you tick all these boxes that is great as it will make your career easier.
Other things you need to consider
What are your interests?
A good way to start a career is to find out what you are interested in. Chances are you are more likely to be satisfied with your career choice doing it in an area, company or industry you are interested in. A good way to do this is to list your interests and talents. Use this list to potentially narrow down your preferences so you know what area to focus on.
Do you possess the relevant qualifications?
Next on your to-do list is to check your qualifications essentially. For your chosen job or industry, check if you meet the necessary qualifications. Chances are you hopefully did your degree in the industry field you are interested in so that will count as a qualification. If however, you have not, it is a good idea to obtain the necessary qualifications required in your field.
What are your career preferences?
Starting a career will first require you to think about what your career preferences are. This is where you essentially do some research on your desired industry and the potential jobs that exist within that field. Here you will also have to ask yourself what your career aspirations are. Consider researching where you would be situated location-wise, the average salary as well as what a typical day would look like.
Volunteering or interning
Did you know that the best way of starting a career is by doing an internship or volunteering opportunity first? If you successfully intern at a firm, 70% are offered a position upon completion of their internship. Volunteering opportunities not only look great on your resume but also gives you a chance to meet with industry professionals and help expand your network.
One of the best ways to start a career is to find yourself a mentor. A mentor is someone who is in your desired industry and one who you can ideally learn from. Through a mentor, you hopefully have the opportunity to shadow them at work whilst learning valuable insight into the position or the industry itself. It is therefore important to make relevant connections and develop that relationship with someone you admire in your chosen profession. If they cannot mentor you, chances are they can recommend you to someone else too!
Pursuing the right qualifications
The reality of starting a career in your desired field is that your chances will automatically increase if you possess the necessary qualifications. If you have the right qualifications then that is already one requirement you have met. Do not worry if you do not have the right qualifications as these can always be done.
Applying for a position
Now it's the last but the one step that will kickstart your career, which is to start applying. Visit sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, JobsDb, LinkedIn or any other job sites to start looking for positions.
Tips for starting a career
When it comes to starting a career, we have provided you with three top tips that will help you get started first of all but will always help you in the long run. These include:
- Stay open-minded and curious
- Stay patient and proactive
- Keep strengthening your skillset
Living by these three tips will not only help you start your career but will help throughout your career too!
Career Start Challenges
While starting a career is a journey that should be considered exciting, the reality is that starting a career is not easy. A variety of challenges will present themselves as you make your first step into the real world.
Lack of experience
Have you heard of the dilemma “I cannot get a job because I have no experience, and “I have no experience because I cannot get a job”? This is a struggle that many people face when they start their careers. At times it can feel like this dilemma is what is holding you back and the challenge of getting experience is so difficult, especially in an already competitive job market.
Do not get discouraged, it is important to keep looking and the right opportunities will present themselves!
Fear of failure/self-doubt
As we mentioned earlier, starting a career can feel extremely daunting. Especially knowing that the fear of failure is possible. This is where potential self-doubt will start to creep in. All the effort will start to feel like it was not worth it because you did not end up succeeding.
Remember not to be so harsh on yourself and that you learn a lot through failures. Just because one door closes does not mean another door will open!
Fear of what others think
Starting a career will require you to make difficult choices and sacrifices. Especially if you suddenly decide you want to do something completely different from what you have studied, you feel like you potentially disappointed your parents and others who have supported you throughout your original career path. You might feel like in the end it was all for nothing.
You have to think of it differently is our suggestion. This is your life essentially and your career should not be determined by what others want of you. In the end, it is about what you want to do that will give you the most satisfaction.
Lists of the Best Entry-Level Jobs
Now that we have some great tips on starting a career, we can explore the best available entry-level jobs out in the market. Things you should consider in your entry-level job include whether there is potential for future growth, the compensation and whether it is a good cultural fit for you. Let’s explore the list below of what industries and positions you could start a career in.
For those that have graduated with business majors, entry-level positions include administrative assistant, business analyst, consulting analyst, customer service, event planner, HR coordinator, management trainee, operations analyst, recruiting assistant and training specialist.
Building & transportation trades
Working or gaining an apprenticeship in this industry can include positions such as an architect, carpenter apprentice, electrician apprentice, HVAC apprentice and plumber apprentice.
Communications and design
If you consider yourself to be creative, the following positions could be of interest to you: copywriter, editorial assistant, graphic designer, PR assistant, PR specialist, publicity assistant and social media specialist.
Education, research and non-profit
There is always a demand for teachers, social workers and researchers in the following positions: elementary school teacher, guidance counsellor, junior chemist, mathematics teacher, physics teacher, research assistant, research assistant, research associate, research technician, social worker, special educator and teacher’s assistant.
Engineers are always in demand and most of them pay extremely well. Positions include chemical engineer, civil engineer, electrical engineer, engineer, environmental engineer, environmental engineering technician, junior engineer, mechanical engineer and petroleum engineer.
There are always positions available in the finance industry. Entry-level positions include accountant, actuarial analyst, actuarial assistant, auditor, claims adjuster, credit analyst, financial analyst, junior accountant, underwriter and underwriter assistant.
IT is another industry that presents numerous entry-level positions which include computer engineer, computer programmer, database analyst, hardware engineer, information security analyst, IT analyst, network engineer, programmer, software engineer, web applications developer and web designer.
Healthcare has some of the best salaries for entry-level positions. Positions include diagnostic medical sonographer, dental assistant, dietitian, home health aide, licensed practical nurse, massage therapist, occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistant, patient representative, pharmacy technician, physical therapy assistant, registered nurse and respiration therapist.
Sales and marketing
If you are a natural salesperson or want to develop a career in marketing there are numerous entry-level positions in this field as well. Positions that are common include account coordinator, advertising sales assistant, allocation assistant, assistant media buyer, assistant media planner, buyer trainer, retail management trainee, sales assistant, sales representative and sales trainee. Marketing positions include marketing analyst, marketing assistant, and marketing coordinator.
Starting a career is no easy feet and it can be scary. You will be met with a lot of challenges and the risk of failure is always there. While it is scary it can also be one that is extremely rewarding and life-changing. There are so many opportunities and with the right preparations and mentality, you can start a career in your desired field. Just remember, if one opportunity does not work out, it will lead to another one that will!
If you are looking to start a career then let us help you. AIP provides internship opportunities in 25 different industries across 18 different countries. An internship is a great way to build valuable work experience and start your career. Apply on our website today!