Is your horizon bright?


After you’ve explored your talentspassions and values, you then begin to review job matches in each of these categories and determine which career direction may be right for you. The best job matches are ones that are identified in each of the three categories, at the center point of all three areas, as the diagram here represents.

But wait! There’s more!

The best ones are at the center of all three of these areas, but is the sun rising our setting on those career areas? Are they in the horizon of the job market? Determining the outlook of these different careers can further help you determine appropriate career matches.  You want to be able to enjoy what you do and find value in it, but you have to be able to get a job in it to do that!

How do you look at the job horizon for careers?

bright outlook symbol copyIt’s really quite simple. I show clients how to do this is through the Bright Outlook view on O*Net.  These jobs:

-Are projected to grow much faster than average

-Projected to have more than 100,000 job openings 2010-2020

         -Are new or emerging occupations in high growth fields

2 Examples

 Over the last couple of weeks, job outlook has strongly affected the recommendations I’ve made to two of the students I’ve beening working with. Once I meet with students, ask questions, and administer a career assessment with them, I then put together a Career and College recommendation sheet for them to further explore careers we’ve discussed as well as colleges and majors connected to them.  These reports are ordered by most to least recommended careers and more often than not, this order takes into consideration job outlook.

Sample A is a report from a junior in high school who had some ideas of what she wanted to pursue and had some clear ideas about where she might attend school.  After talking with her, I mentioned a related career field,sonography, found through her career assessment and interests.     She hadn’t ever thought of this before and didn’t know that she would attend school for two years (for an Associates Degree) instead of four (for a Bachelors Degree) to obtain qualifications in the field.  I recommended this job for her first because of the job growth in the field (it has a bright outlook sunshine with it), the reduced cost of getting the education to achieve entry into the field, and the fact that she could earn just as much, if not more than some other areas she was interested in.

Sample B is a report from a sophomore in college who has been having some major doubts about his college major in engineering due to the challenging nature of the coursework and the lack of enjoyment obtained because it is so difficult.   After talking with him and looking at his career assessment results, I encouraged him to continue in this field (construction engineering/management of civil engineering  both have those pretty bright outlook sunshine by them) instead of switching to something like forestry (which does not have a bright outlook sun) in which he had thought about.

Drill Down Deeper

Want to know more than just whether the outlook is bright for certain careers?  You can drill down further withO*Net to get specific numbers such as projected openings and growth rates for careers nationally and by state.   For example, projections for the sonography field look like this:

job growth chart copy

You can also check with your local Chamber of Commerce or similar organization.  They should have information about job openings and in-demand careers in your area.

You want to be able to enjoy your work and one key piece to this is knowing your skills are in-demand.  Make sure you check out your job horizon by the job market.

How has employer demand driven your career choices?

Mary Ila Ward

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