Knowing Which Industry You Want To Work In

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Everyone has plans and passions and goals and dreams. Whether they apply to your professional or your personal life, they give you incentive to think of what lies ahead and become excited for the future. Sometimes though, thinking too far ahead causes fear and dread to creep in. What if this isn’t what I want to major in or the field that I want to break into? What if I settle for a job that pays the bills but isn’t the career track I want? How can I get on that track at the age or stage in my life that I’m in right now?

If you’ve stared at the ceiling at night with these thoughts racing through your brain, you’re not alone. Deciding what path you want professionally, or deciding if it’s worth exploring a new path, can be difficult but not impossible. While you may not know immediately the specific job in the specific department that is your true calling, narrowing down an industry or field you can see yourself in is a good first step.

On job finding websites, most of the time the slew of listings can be narrowed down by putting an industry in your search. Before I was searching for part time work that fit with a class schedule, I had room to play with this feature and would tailor my Indeed or Monster browsing to an industry I knew well, that I had experience in, or knew I’d be content having a position in.

I’ve also applied to jobs that were slightly outside of my comfort zone. I’d check if the posting jived with my skill set, and if it did, I’d see if it was in a field or industry I wasn’t completely familiar with but that I could stand learning a little more about.

I knew applying to be an assistant at a law firm was a reach considering my lack of experience with law (unless you count that one speeding ticket), but I submitted my resume on the chance that my clerical skills and OCD tendencies would get my foot in the door. My little gamble paid off, and after being brought on, not only did I get familiar with a challenging, fascinating aspect of law, I gained experience that kicked my resume up a notch or two.

Searching by industry can help even in the sense that you grow familiar with everything that’s out there and put yourself in the mindset of, “Can I see myself there?”. If the answer is yes, even a slightly unsure yes, following that instinct and applying can only pay off. It may even help you find the gold at the end of the rainbow, that being a job that you actually might really freaking like.