Building a career – not just another job

Whether you’ve just left school or are just tired of hopping from job to job, starting a career can seem daunting but ultimately finding your vocation and working towards your dream job is a far more rewarding experience than just applying for any job that suits the skills you already have.

The first step is to work out what it is you want to do without worrying about whether you have the qualifications, the training or the means to achieve it at this point in time. Once you’ve decided what you want to do, then you can work out how. There are many different ways to get started on the path towards the career you want.


Work Experience and Internships


Work experience and internships are a great way to test the waters and gain valuable experience in your chosen field. Most placements are unpaid which can be tough if you’ve been working in a paid position before this point but if you’re serious about starting a new career then you have to be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up. A few weeks of unpaid work could be the start of your journey towards your chosen career and it’s necessary to put in the groundwork before you can reap the rewards.




Apprenticeships offer the best of both worlds as you can get paid to learn on the job. These types of placement can provide excellent training and equivalent qualifications, which will open up new doors for you as you progress along your career path. Apprenticeships can be sponsored by individual employers, joint employer and labor groups or employer associations. You can find out more about apprenticeship opportunities near you by visiting the Department of Labor website.




Gaining the right qualifications for your chosen field is very important so make sure you are choosing the right subjects. Many people simple choose a subject that they are good at rather than thinking about the end goal. The course of study that is right for you depends entirely on the career path you have chosen, but the choice is not always black and white so you should research thoroughly to make sure that you are working towards a qualification that will have a practical application in your chosen career. You should also think about studying to set yourself apart from other candidates. For example, if you are looking into a career in surface finishing, an ICATS (Industrial Coating Applicator Training Scheme) qualification is not essential but will make you stand out from the crowd.

These are just some of the many routes towards building your career. The most important thing to remember is that you are playing the long game and you will need to make tough decisions and work hard in order to achieve the career of your dreams. The trick is to make sure you know what you want, build a logical path towards achieving it and work until you get there.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.