May 9, 2022
If you’re looking to give your career a kickstart, whether you’re looking for your first job or you’re ready to take on more responsibility, there are plenty of opportunities out there for you. The key is finding the skills that will translate the best to the career that you want.
At Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, we’ve seen time and time again how even a few hours invested into training can do wonders when it comes to landing the right opportunities. Here are our suggestions, so you can end up in a position that actually showcases your talents.
Before you sign up for a class or workshop, you may want to start by taking a career assessment. The questions are remarkably accurate at determining where your aptitudes lie and what kinds of positions would be the best fit. If you’re reading this, you likely already have some idea of where you want to be, but this tip isn’t at odds with what you already have in mind.
A career assessment doesn’t derail the ideas that you have for yourself but instead introduces additional opportunities that you might not have originally considered. For instance, if you wanted to be an office manager, you might learn more about related positions (e.g., account manager, executive assistant, etc.) that require many of the same skills.
This not only broadens the number of jobs that you can apply for, but it also makes it possible for you to find a position that’s an even better fit than the one you had in mind. During the career assessment, you may also want to look deeper into the labor market. For instance, what’s the current demand for your chosen profession? When you know who’s hiring, it’s easier to go into the search with the right mindset.
No matter what kind of job you’re going for, it’s a virtual certainty that you’ll need to learn some degree of computer skills. Most people of working age can navigate basic programs, but it’s possible that you’ll be asked to do far more than send emails or perform search engine tasks.
At Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, we’ve seen that being comfortable on a computer is a huge advantage for applicants. Once they have the basics down, it’s easier to tackle all those software updates and upgraded online programs that are likely to come down the pipeline. From assigning tasks to setting up Slack chats, having the right foundation will make it easier to pivot in any number of directions.
What does it take to work with other people? This question has been answered by countless people in countless different ways, but there’s one thing in common with all of the proposed solutions: without soft skills, it’s hard to get anything done.
This term refers to how you read people and how you respond to them, and it can include anything from your body language to your tone of voice. Empathy, listening, problem-solving, persuasion, writing: these are all important factors that make or break your soft skills.
Unless you’re truly going to be a one-person show (which very few can pull off in the real world), you need to know how to handle your boss, your co-workers, and your customers.
Some of the most qualified candidates in the world can get tripped up by interviews, and we honestly don’t blame them. Being put in front of a stranger can be exceptionally intimidating, and not everyone has the natural salesmanship skills to present themselves in the best possible light. There will be some managers who can see through what’s happening and still identify the right people for the position. However, we don’t recommend counting on finding one of them.
During an interview class, you’ll get to run through multiple scenarios during practice rounds and get real-time feedback on how to improve. This perk makes it easier to navigate unexpected questions and give answers that will impress the decision-makers who ultimately have your fate in their hands.
From signs on the side of businesses to endless websites, job postings aren’t necessarily difficult to come by. What is hard to come by, though, is a job that will pay you what you want and a company that will actually get back to you when they promise they will. Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley has seen people waste time agonizing over cover letters that are never read and chasing after jobs that were long ago promised to someone internal in the company.
There’s no perfect way to weed out every non-viable job, but there are ways to optimize the time you spend searching for jobs. The more you can get it down to a science, the more likely it is that every minute you devote will actually pay off in interviews and (ideally) a bidding war between two companies that ends in your favor.
Resumés are something of a minefield today when you take into account applicant-tracking systems. These software programs are designed to ‘read’ your carefully worded resumé and pick out certain key terms only. It means that a perfectly constructed resumé could be passed over for one that was stuffed with the right keywords.
At Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, it’s our job to help people strike a balance between people and programs that are analyzing your documents. We help people pick out which skills to highlight and phrase them in such a way that will get the reader to sit up and take notice.
Sometimes you just need to sit down and talk to a coach without the rest of the team getting in the way. The benefit of having a one-on-one session is that you can ask everything you need to ask and then get advice that’s tailor-made for you.
If you’re tired of seeing the same generic recommendations on nearly every website you see or pamphlet you receive, none of which really seem to apply to you because of your background, it might be time to look past the noise and focus on action items that you can realistically accomplish.
If you’re looking for a free program that can help everyone from young adults to seasoned veterans, Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley is here to break down your job search into manageable chunks.
From the search to the interview to the negotiation stage, we show you how to use your leverage in a way that will launch your career to the next level and beyond. Everything listed above is offered to you at no cost and these complementary services have been proven to give people the means to build the life they’ve always imagined. Contact us to learn more or take the next step.