Career Research – what you must know before you commit to a career

Career Research

Career Research: Are you trying to work out what you want to do with your life? This blog will help you to discover the right job before you commit your time, effort and money!

‘Darling’, explained the husband calmly to his wife, ‘God gave all men instinctive navigational skills; that’s why sat-navs are called Tom-Toms and not Jill-Jills. Trust me, I know where I’m going…’

It was possibly the same driver who made a simple, but significant typing error on his sat nav for their holiday destination. Instead of heading for the golden beaches of Capri they were taken 400 miles off course to the industrial town in Northern Italy of Carpi! Upon arrival at an industrial estate, his wife’s words were never recorded, but it’s quite possible that she had one of Confucius’ quotes to hand: Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.

At some stage in our lives many of us may have considered a particular profession, only to pull away in another direction due to lack of information and confidence. Whilst it’s vital to be realistic about our options and to understand what really suits our natural ability, personality and circumstances, it’s equally important that we don’t allow a lack of knowledge and confidence to dictate our next move. Make sure you do thorough career research before committing yourself!

‘Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.’ – Stan Smith

Career Research

When God called Gideon to sort out Israel’s problems this reluctant hero needed a big confidence boost.  To encourage him, God told Gideon to go down to the enemy’s camp at night and spy on his foe before attacking them (Judges 7:9-10). In other words, before Gideon committed himself to the battle, God wanted him to get to know more about his enemy, to get insight into his opponent before coming up against them.

We should do the same with our career research before committing ourselves.

It’s very easy to view the whole job market as a battlefield, and there are some clear advantages to doing thorough research into this particular ‘enemy’. They say: ‘to be forewarned is to be forearmed’. The more career research you are able to carry out the more confident your decision-making will be.

1) Ask people in your network –

Extending your networksIn your career research don’t forget to check out those in your own networks – you may be surprised at the number of people you know and their first-hand knowledge and contacts could prove invaluable for you.

Experts now think that there are now fewer than four degrees of separation between everyone on the planet. I recently tested this at a conference; I met the person who made the christening cake for the young Prince George and realised that this left only three degrees of separation between me and the Queen!

Networking is one of the most successful ways of finding work or discovering more about a job. It should form a major part of your job research – who works where, who knows who, who can tell you what it is like to work for a particular company, who can give you advice about your career path etc.

It is not just your former colleagues that you can approach; ask your friends and relatives to keep a lookout for you in their companies. The point is this: check out who you know. They don’t have to be your best friend, but you might be surprised how doors can open unexpectedly for you through people in your wider network.

Extending your own network

Think about all the people you know or who you have met, who could help you find out more.

Who do you know & where?

  • Current business colleagues
  • Ex business colleagues
  • Ex bosses/employers
  • Suppliers/reps you have dealt with
  • Fellow members of trade associations
  • Your old clients/customers
  • Solicitor/bank manager/accountant
  • Contacts in your church
  • Family / friends
  • Social friends/neighbours
  • School, College or University friends
  • Your partner’s contacts
  • Others…
Email address Tel. No

2) Target individual organisations

What I’ve got to say next is not rocket science. If you’re considering a career, for example in catering management, Google a relevant company website and discover from the ‘horse’s mouth’ what the job includes, e.g. www.caterer.com/search/head-chef-jobs .

3) Here are some great websites to help you in your career research:

God’s experience of victory instructed Gideon what to do when facing battle; self-confidence eventually allowed Gideon to taste this for himself. Now, over to you…