Finding the Right Job For You - Reality Check
Most people want more than just a job - more than the minimum in pay and satisfaction. Planning for your professional future is vital to getting what you want from work for years to come! At some point along the way, you made a conscious decision to enter the technical field of automation + control technology. That's why you are working so hard in school. You expect your education to provide a payback in salary and job satisfaction. You probably joined ISA to learn more about your options and opportunities in your chosen profession.
In your search for career/job information, you may have worked part time to gain skills, professional contact and an understanding of what a certain job is like. Perhaps you have, or plan to, volunteered in your ISA Student Section to develop your leadership skills or learn about organization and team work. An internship or cooperative education experience way have provided work experience, college credits, contacts within the field of automation + control and could lead to permanent employment after graduation. Reading InTech and News & Views monthly has probably proved useful, too.
But what prompted your decision to pursue your current educational/career path? The first step in career planning is to complete a thoughtful self-assessment.
Consider your work environment. What job characteristics could add or detract from your satisfaction? How important is using your creativity? Do you work well under pressure? How's your decision making? Do you like a lot of things going on at once? Have you checked out your public relations and people skills?
What are your values? Is salary paramount? - Job security? - Recognition? - Helping people? - Personal accomplishment?
Are you outgoing? - Shy? - Energetic? - Careful? - Patient? - Orderly? Your personal traits will impact your job choice.
What do you enjoy doing? Here, you want to identify the skills you've developed and not just the tasks you've completed.
Now, write out your own personal evaluation. List your values, preferred work environment, skills, interests, strengths and weaknesses. Next, determine what would be most important to you about a job.
Once your mind is clear about who you are and what you want, you're ready to find the job for you. Ask yourself: In which type of organization would I prefer to work? (small business, government, nonprofit, large or medium sized corporation, school, health-care facility). Your engineering, technical and/or sales abilities can flourish in all of these settings. But what's right for you?
What organizational style would be best for me? (young company just getting started; established organization; fast-paced atmosphere or slower, predictable environment; formal structure or less structure and more independence?) If you are a hard-pushing, ultra organized, structured person, working in a laid-back, deadline? - what deadline? atmosphere, your work literally could make you sick! It can be very stressful for a Type A personality (intense) to adjust to working in a Type B environment (relaxed).
Armed with your personal job profile, you can talk with anyone about the right position for you. And what's equally important, you'll recognize the optimum place for you when it comes along. Now get out there and stir up your personal contacts, the college placement service, employment agencies, job search firms, newspapers and magazine ads, and land your ideal job!