Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to Realistically Know Your Career Prospects Before Making Job Choice, Change, or Move

By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog

  • Do you wonder how much you could earn in your job if you move to a bigger (or smaller) city? 
  • Are you concerned whether your education level is adequate for your desired occupation? 
  • Are you considering more education for a specific job and wonder whether it will pay off? 
  • Do you have a certain type of work in mind but worry whether you will find enough opportunity in your region?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, or if you have similar questions in mind, then I suggest you use the free Employability Checkup created by the U.S. Department of Labor. By answering just a few questions online, you will receive a snapshot of your chances of finding a certain job requiring a
Get Employability Checkup [Shy Job Seeker Blog]
Get a quick and easy Employability Checkup before making a career move.
specific education level in a certain location at a wage you specify. With the Employability Checkup, you give input on several factors, including these:
  • Geographical location
  • Education level
  • Pay level
  • Occupation
  • Industry
The Employability Checkup then generates your Employability Profile, full of interesting facts and figures about your choices to help you decide whether they are realistic. Your Employability Profile includes the following information:
  • Employment trends in the specific occupation and industry
  • Local and state unemployment rates
  • Typical education requirements for the occupation
  • How the wages you chose compare to typical wages for the occupation and location you specified
You can run the Employability Checkup as many times as you like to change your variables, so it's a good way to try lots of "what ifs." 

For example, I was curious to learn what the prospects are for editors in the advertising/public relations field in Colorado Springs, Colorado. From my Employability Profile, I learned the occupation is declining in Colorado (but not as greatly as elsewhere in the U.S.), and the local unemployment rate is higher than the national rate. On the plus side, my desired wage was within the range paid in Colorado Springs, and I had the right education level. So would I be able to find a decent-paying editor job there? The data said maybe (I had three minuses and three pluses), but I would want to investigate current job openings, possible employers, business news, cost of living, and quality of life in Colorado Springs before loading up a moving van.

Employability Profile page gives links to more detailed information for further research, such as occupation information, industry trends, education and training requirements, and wages.

The Employability Checkup is quick and easy to use. It requires no usernames, passwords, or logins, so that makes it simple and safe. So before you make a career move—whether to a new occupation, a new location, or a new credential—take the Employability Checkup.

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