Finding yourself before you find a job
Whether you are just starting out on your career path or looking for a change in direction after several years, it is important to know what you want to gain from your journey. Finding a job is one thing, but finding the right job means a much higher likelihood of long-term engagement and personal fulfillment. Discovering the career options that best suit you starts with taking some time for self-reflection and personal development.
A great place to begin your search is to identify the skill set and experience you currently have and then compare that with the industries and job opportunities that most closely match your interests. It’s important to ask yourself questions about your goals:
- Are you looking for something full-time or part-time?
- What kind of environment would best suit you – would you rather be in an office or work outdoors?
- What do you love to do in your spare time, or through volunteer work, that could possibly translate into a new career opportunity?
- Would you be interested in going back to school?
- Most importantly, what would make you excited to get up and go to work every day?
If you find it challenging to answer these kinds of questions, don’t worry – you are not alone.
That’s why the YWCA offers employment programs like FOCUS@Work, an empowering program dedicated to helping women in their job search and career transition. FOCUS@Work offers training and guidance to help you determine the right field for you. Through this program, women are given the support they need to define their existing skills and strengths, set personal and work goals and build the tools necessary to obtain meaningful employment.
FOCUS helped me to re-discover what I’m capable of. The program gave me an immense boost of confidence and I was able to secure a full-time job within three weeks after completing the program.
—Gila, FOCUS@Work program
FOCUS@Work is a full-time, directed program that offers three weeks of workshops Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm and nine or more weeks of full-time job search support. Participants are also given the chance to network with like-minded women at similar stages in their lives. The program includes a variety of assessments to help determine an ideal career path through insight into your personality, skills, interests and values.
I believe that every woman should attend FOCUS at least once in her life, because the program and staff equip you with knowledge and tools that you otherwise won’t get while working on your own.
—Client, FOCUS@Work program
By focusing on personal development throughout the program, you will build self-esteem and self-assertion, effective communication and conflict resolution skills and learn how to cope with change and stress. With daily guidance and encouragement, you will have the opportunity to build goal-based action plans, and learn how to make the most of job leads and networking opportunities that come your way.
Holly Helle is a marketing communications specialist and freelance writer.
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