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There are many places to get career advice.

The first place most people go for advice is their friends and family. Friends and family know us better than most anyone else, so definitely are people to listen to. However, in terms of understanding the changing labour market, and how to choose a path that can lead to success, there are many other types of career advice to consider. Here are some of my favorite.

  1. Know by Doing: understanding what one wants to do often comes from experience. The best way to find out if you want to do something is to try it out. Take a secondment or temporary assignment. Do a Co-op or internship. Take on a volunteer role that let’s you try out new skills. I know of someone who thought they wanted to be a physician. Then they worked for a summer at a brewery and found out they loved it. They are now the brewmaster for a major brewery.
  2. Pick an End Goal, then Set Stepping Stones: End goals often seem unachievable. Stepping stones help you get there. I once worked with a newcomer to Canada with limited English. Their end goal was to work at Blackberry. But their first job was fixing computers for a non-profit. Two jobs later and much improved English skills, they got hired by Blackberry.
  3. Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor: Mentors can listen to what you’ve been doing, and give advice as to what to do next. I know a leader of a major organization who has been mentoring an emerging engineer for years. It’s a win-win. The leader gets to find out what new technologies are. The emerging engineer finds out where the opportunities might be.
  4. Be a Lifelong Learner: no matter how good you are in your job, things are always changing. I once worked with someone who was one of the best database programmers in the company. But they didn’t learn anything else. When their project ended, there were no new projects that needed their skills and they were let go. Others, who had learned the emerging technologies, remained. Learn one small thing every day, and keep ahead for life.
  5. Decide What Success is to You: money, job security, prestige, and creativity can all be part of career success. Working with others, or working alone are other options. I’ve seen two individuals work at the same job, and one thrived and the other struggled, because each had a different definition of success. If you know what success is for you, it will makes it easier to achieve.

Check out the many career advice websites online. Then, if you want to discuss next steps in your career, consider talking to a career coach. Get impartial advice. Get connected to assessment tools to help measure your values, skills, and interests. Figure out next steps. Feel free to book an appointment with CareerFirsts.

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