While many are looking for work, I want to encourage everyone to think more about – CAREERS! And more importantly, I want to provide assistance to the residents of Camden County who are pursuing a career and job!
From a young age, my grandfather instilled in me the benefits of doing something you loved to do. He was a carpenter by trade and gushed with great pride every time we drove over the Ben Franklin Bridge or passed by Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital knowing he proudly had a hand in the construction of such local landmarks. He used to say, “Find something you enjoy because a lot of your time will be spent doing it.” Unfortunately, this isn’t true for many of you today. My grandfather was around for the Great Depression so I often wonder what challenges he faced compared to what I see happening now.
Seeing hundreds of unemployed residents walking through the doors of the One-Stop Career Center each week, I’m reminded of the many challenges we face but hopeful of a more promising future for us all. My grandfather said, “Do what you love to do” but does that make sense in today’s economy? Wouldn’t it be better to have any job than none at all?
I believe the answer is yes and no. Yes, we should always try to find something we enjoy but we must also plan for what makes the most sense. Today, more than ever, we need to have a career plan while searching for work and that plan needs to include the interests and aptitude of its job seeker. At the Camden County One-Stop, we have created a tool to help you with this process. To get started, you first have to take a good look at yourself. What do you want to do? What are you trained to do? My grandfather liked to work with his hands. He would never be able to work behind a desk all day. In fact, the only time I think I saw him at a desk was to fix one of its stuck drawers or something of that nature.
After evaluating your background and work history, you need to dig deeper into your interests and skills. There are plenty of assessment tests out there to help you with this process. We like the CareerScope here at the One-Stop and you can schedule this test at anytime. It will provide a detailed description of the various occupational areas that best fit your talents.
Once you have identified what you have to offer, it’s now time to investigate what’s out there. In making an informed career decision, you not only need information about yourself but also what options you have. You need to do some research. Don’t assume you know what companies are looking for because you once worked in the field. Times have changed and there are many different requirements. Make sure you are prepared for these changes. Don’t just do your research over the internet, get out and talk to people.
The New Jersey Department of Labor has a real time occupations in demand list. It helps you identify appropriate job clusters for work available today and areas to help you prepare for careers in the future. This information is all part of the career planning packet and available to help you through the development of your career choice.
So while it’s not just about what you love to do, the career planning process keeps my grandfather’s lesson in mind but provides you with the needed tools to achieve your ultimate career goals. The Camden County One-Stop Career Center’s “Developing Your Career Plan Packet – 10 Easy Steps to a New Career” is available for you as a tool to help you through the process at www.camdencounty.com
under the Career Club Blog.
Look for the Camden County Career Club Blog on a regular basis with a different topic at the start of each week. The Career Club blog was established to help residents of Camden County deal with the many challenges they’re facing while looking for employment. The intent is to assist you in your journey. I may not have all the answers but I promise to put you on a path in the right direction. Feel free to post or ask any questions about the subject of career planning or any difficulties you may be facing while reaching your goals. In the meantime, join the club! Article by Frank Filipek, Jr. Director, Camden County One-Stop. For more information, contact the Camden County One-Stop Career Center at 1-877-995-2600 or visit www.camdencounty.com.