By: Green Career Central
One of the challenges of finding a new job or a new career is looking at your existing skills and experience and connecting the dots to figure out which careers are a good fit for you.
I’ve been thinking about this process within a few scenarios.
- Whenever you try to change careers – you have to figure out how to make the leap from your original job. Ideally your new career will make for a graceful transition, allowing you to leverage skills and experience you used in the past.
- If you are attempting to transition to a green career, the bridge between what you’ve done and your future green career can vary. If you have skills that are transferable, the bridge may be pretty obvious. If you are targeting an emerging industry or making a leap, the bridge may be foggy at best!
- If you need a job now and you can’t or don’t want to turn to your original industry, you may be at a loss as to how to move your job search forward.
Connecting the Dots
The U.S. Department of Labor has unveiled an interactive site, mySkills myFuture, to help Americans find new opportunities based on their previous work experience.
The site is very easy to work with, just enter a job title you’ve held in the past, then click the Find My Career Matches button. Use the drop down menu to select the category of careers you want to explore. Enter your zip code and search radius, then click on Go.
The resulting page will list careers options that may be a good match for you based on a formula that compares 120 knowledge, skill, and ability elements required within each career. This KSA system is commonly used to describe what’s entailed by a particular career.
When you find a career that interests you, scan across to see at a glance a brief description of the career, the number of openings in your area, salary information, and local training opportunities.
With another click you can dig deeper to:
- Access an easy-to-read chart that compares this career with your original job title. With this information you can tell what you need to do to prepare for this career in terms of your knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as required certifications and licensing.
- Job listings for this career with a direct link to apply for the job.
- A database to find training opportunities including certifications, licenses, and apprenticeships.
What About Green Careers?
Although this site is not a site dedicated to green careers, you can spot them fairly easily. Watch for the green leaf symbol.
O*NET, another US Department of Labor project that has provided the KSA’s profiles for the occupations in this database, recently started a formal research project to build occupational profiles for green careers. This work is ongoing. Thus far, they’ve created over 150 green occupation profiles.
Keep an Open Mind
Whether you need to find a job now, or you are researching possible future careers, keep an open mind as you explore the mySkills myFuture database. You may discover careers you haven’t considered before….that’s the point! Remember that the career category may not be a match, but the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need to do the job are similar in all of the career ideas that come up.
During your research don’t expect yourself to make a decision about a new career at first read. Instead, review a number of career profiles, evaluate the profiles as objectively as possible and then target the few ideas that are the best matches for you.