Step Two: Investigate the World of Work
Step One: Learn About Yourself
Step Two: Investigate the World of Work
Step Three: Use What You Have Learned
Step Two: Investigate the World of Work CCPG_47
Why Investigate the World of Work? CCPG_48
You need to investigate the world of work for a number of reasons. The most important is to determine what occupations and jobs best match your skills, interests, values, and personality. You could just comb through the “want ads” in the newspaper, but that’s letting the world randomly match you with a job. To ensure that you find a job in which you will excel and find enjoyment, you must take a proactive role in finding the job that is a good fit.
By investigating the world of work, you’ll learn about the hiring process from the perspective of the employer. You may be surprised when you find their concerns to be quite different from your own. Understanding the employer’s concerns will make you a more competitive job candidate. In the interview, for example, you will be able to verbalize specifically how you can help address the employer’s various concerns. There are several other important reasons to investigate the world of work:
- You’ll obtain realistic and accurate information about different occupations.
- You’ll have an idea of what educational classes and training to pursue.
- You’ll gain confidence by becoming familiar with the language and concerns of the world of work — an important quality in any job search.
- You’ll hear about the “hidden” job market — jobs that are available but have not been advertised.
- You’ll learn how and where to apply for jobs.
- You’ll make numerous contacts and when you’re ready to look for work, you’ll know who to call.
- You’ll identify work industries that interest you and can use your skills.
How to Explore the World of Work CCPG_49
- Informational Interviews
- Job Shadowing
- Library/Online Research
- School Career Center
- Newspaper Business Section
- Business Journals
- Volunteer work
- Part-time or temporary work
- Informational Interviews CCPG_50
- Job Shadowing CCPG_51
- Connecting CCPG_52-54
- Frequently Asked Questions About Connecting
Where to Explore the World of Work CCPG_55-56
- California One-Stop Career Centers
- California Community Colleges
- Public Libraries
- Professional Career Counselor Services
- School Career Centers
- Work Experience Programs
Exploring Online CCPG_57
There are many online resources that will help with career, job, and occupational searches. They include labor market information (e.g., wages, job growth, and decline), training and education providers, increasing employ-ability skills, and so on. Because these resources and their Internet addresses change fairly frequently, please visit the resources section of the California Career Resource Network website (http://www.californiacareers.info/resource.html), or the California Career Zone (http://www.cacareerzone.com/flash/resources/index.html). At these sites, you will find a comprehensive listing of online resources in an array of related subjects, including:
- Budgeting and Economics
- CA Job/Occupation Educators and Trainers
- Career Counseling
- Career Development Resources
- Career Related Associations
- CDE Career/Work-Related Initiatives
- Educational Sites
- Self Assessment
- Job Listings
- Job Search Preparation
- Labor Market Information
- Lifelong Learning
- Special Needs
- Workforce Development
Labor Market Realities CCPG_58-60
- Lifelong employ-ability — Strive to be employable—to have the skills that employers value—so you can find work easily even if you get laid off. Don’t expect to have lifelong employment, especially with one company.
- Diversity — Appreciate and work with cultural differences. Employers value this skill because the labor market has more women, older people and people of different races and ethnic groups than ever before.
- Computer skills — Develop strong computer skills and up date them regularly. Every industry prefers workers who have these skills.
- Math, Science, and English — Develop strong math, science, and communication skills. Employers always need people with these skills.
- Customer service — Always demonstrate a positive, helpful attitude toward customers, supervisors, and coworkers. Employers value good customer service skills because gaining and maintaining customers is crucial, especially in a weak economy.
- Economic awareness — Pay attention to the local, national, and global market. Jobs are created and destroyed because of technological advances, the economy, and corporate restructuring. Prepare for it.
- Post high school education — Obtain an education beyond a high school diploma. It’s the number one way to achieve and maintain a middle class lifestyle or,in many cases, to be self-supporting. With an advanced education you will remain employable.
- Continuous learning — Constantly upgrade your skills. Employers want to know what you’ve learned recently, not what degree you earned ten years ago.
- Education costs — Find employers who will train you. Since the price of college and technical education will continue to rise faster than inflation, academic help is valuable.
What Do Employers Want from Employees?
- Researching — The ability to search for needed data and to use references to obtain appropriate information.
- Organizing — The ability to arrange systems and routines to maintain order.
- Speaking — The ability to express oneself fluently and intelligently.
- Writing — The ability to use proper spelling and grammar to express ideas.
- Human Relations and Interpersonal Skills — The ability to relate well to persons from varied backgrounds.
- Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning — An understanding of the basic concepts and principles of mathematical and scientific processes.
- Ethical Applications — The ability to apply moral standards and appreciate values in the work setting.
- Technology Competency — The ability to apply basic principles of technology, including keyboarding and data manipulation.
- Career Planning — The cultivation of a personal sense of direction and desire for improvement, including a willingness to learn.
Source: Virginia Labor Commission
Education and Training Tends to Pay More and Provide Greater Employment Stability CCPG_60
- 1.4 Doctorate degree
- 1.1 Professional degree
- 1.7 Master’s degree
- 2.3 Bachelor’s degree
- 3.0 Associate degree
- 3.9 Some college, no degree
- 4.3 High school graduate
- 6.8 Some high school, no diploma
- $74,932 Doctorate degree
- $76,648 Professional degree
- $59,280 Master’s degree
- $50,024 Bachelor’s degree
- $37,492 Associate degree
- $35,048 Some college, no degree
- $30,940 High school graduate
- $21,788 Some high school, no diploma
Step Two: Summary Worksheet (Page 51, California Career Planning Guide 2nd edition)
- How will you go about investigating the world of work?
- Explore the job and labor market?
- Connect by networking with people?
- Conduct informational interviews?
- Volunteer in your spare time?