Starting out your career can be overwhelming and it can be really difficult to know where to start. So, we’re here with some really simple tips that anyone can do to get started. These won’t take up hours of your time but are really valuable things you can do to kickstart your career and to help you feel more informed about where you need to take your next steps.
Find Your Path
The first thing you should do is try to consider the type of career you want to have. We know that this is really broad, however the majority of people have some idea of a rough path they want to take, for example just knowing a broad industry, like music, construction or marketing. If you’re really not sure at all, it would be worth seeing a careers advisor, or potentially taking some online careers quizzes to help give you an idea of how your skills could fit in well to a career.
Once you know the kind of route you want to go in, start your research. It can be as simple as going on Indeed and typing in “marketing jobs” or “construction jobs” and seeing the different types of roles that are out there, the kinds of skills people are looking for and how much you could get paid. Or, you could simply google “different roles in construction” or similar terms, to learn about a wide variety of the different jobs you could go into within that industry.
Make a list of a few that you think are interesting or suit your skills well. You could do this for multiple industries if you’re still at a crossroads about the direction you want to go in, to help keep your options open whilst you decide!
Once you have a few industries in mind that you might want to work in, it’s time to get LinkedIn. Set up a profile and fill out as much of the different sections as possible (experience, education etc). Then, start connecting with friends and family, then look for key figures in the different industries you’re interested in and follow them or connect with them if you can. They will be posting all the relevant industry news that you can read, as well as interesting and sometimes controversial opinions to get you thinking.
You will then start to come across more and more people who you can connect with and learn from. Again, repeat this for different industries if you’re still not sure, to learn more about the ins and outs of what’s involved. This is completely free but is such a useful way to gain insight into the industry.
Get Work Experience
Next up, we have our most valuable piece of advice, which is to get work experience. This is absolutely the best way to help you decide whether or not a career path is right for you. Start off by doing a week in a couple of different industries if you’re unsure, and this should give you a good idea of whether you are keen to learn more or if it isn’t for you.
To find work experience, you can literally type in “plant machinery companies near me” or similar terms, then find their contact page and send them an email. Don’t send a template around, but take some time to look at their website, their LinkedIn profiles and some of their work to see if it’s actually something you’re interested in.
For example, if you did a search for plant machinery companies and found Chippindale Plant, you can include in your email how you found it really interesting that they were founded over seven decades ago. Perhaps you could relate it to a local business of yours, or a family business, understanding how important family values are in a business and you’d love to learn what that means for Chippindale.
Then you will have something interesting to say in your email! Most businesses will be happy to take on someone entering the industry wanting to learn more, so just take your time to create some interesting and bespoke emails to send to the companies you’re interested in and go from there! Not everyone will reply, and that’s okay, because it only takes one response from a great company to potentially kickstart your whole career.
It’s important to note that you may not get paid for this experience, especially in smaller businesses, who don’t have the budget to pay people who aren’t on their payroll. However, using some money from your part time jobs to invest in travel to your work experience is really helpful and could even secure you a job or apprenticeship, so be willing to put yourself out there and it shows how committed you are to this career path.