- What do researchers do? Labour market information
- Using labour market information when making career decisions
Using labour market information when making career decisions
Career decisions are highly complex because they are dependent on such a wide range of factors. Your aspirations and perceptions of your potential all exert a considerable influence on how you approach career decisions.
Career development is about the meeting of the internal (I want to be....) and the external (there is a job as a....) environments. While it is important to hold onto dreams and aspirations it is also important that you take account of the relevant current career environment.
By their nature, researchers tend to have enquiring minds and seek to utilise information to understand the world around them. Much of the process of using information in career decisions is simply about applying the techniques that you already use in your work to develop your career.
Sourcing and making use of information at all stages of the process of career decision making is likely to be an effective strategy. Sourcing information at the beginning (I don't know what I want to do) or the end (Can I do ... ?) is likely to be unsatisfactory. Building a dialogue between what you want and what you learn about the labour market is likely to mean that you build a positive spiral in your career development.
The following objectives may be useful in helping you to interrogate various forms of career and labour market information.
- Know what is out there. What jobs exist? What have other people in your discipline done? Who is recruiting people like you?
- Know how jobs are obtained and careers are built. How do recruitment processes work? What kinds of career pathways do people follow?
- Know whether it is worth putting effort into a particular job or area? Have you got a chance of getting the job? What qualifications and experience are required?
- Know when to pursue something. What is the recruitment pattern for this role/sector? Is the role/sector growing or in decline?
- Know why you are pursuing an opportunity and why they might be pursuing you.
- Know who to talk to, build networks with and ask for help.
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