April 14, 2015 : Gillian Anderson

Moving on up: Choose a job you love

What you can do to help your employee discover the career they'll love.

What job, what sector, where to start?

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

I’m not sure that’s entirely true, but it’s a good place to start!

There are thousands of jobs out there and new ones being imagined all the time in emerging industry sectors. There are loads that you’ll never have even come across. Choices aren’t limited to teacher, nurse or policeman. Even in traditional industries roles and methods have changed.

So how do you know whether you’d be good at something if you’ve never even heard of it before? Do you know if you would make a good Director of First Impressions (receptionist – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), or how about an Ambassador of Buzz (corporate communications associate – Grasshopper)? Your CJS employee is in the same boat, but there are things you can do to help.

Identify transferable skills

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again: make an effort to find out what your employee does well, and why.

If they have a knack for numbers or enjoy keeping everyone organised, show them that you recognise and appreciate those skills and suggest that they might consider a career that makes use of them. If on the other hand, they enjoy working flexibly and don’t enjoy routine, a more responsive role might be better for them.

A sure way to be miserable in your work is to try and bend yourself into a shape that doesn’t naturally suit you. By all means, stretch yourself, develop talents and learn new skills, but we can’t all be good at everything, so encourage them to play to their strengths and help them to realise what those are.

Use the help that’s out there

There are great resources on the My World of Work site to help you point your employee in the direction of a career that could suit them. You can browse all the different sectors that are available and there’s even video content with people talking about what it’s like in different roles.

It’s worth having a look at a whole range of careers and asking them to visualise themselves in that role. Most of us aren’t born with a calling to work in a particular job or sector, and I suspect I’m not the only one who has arrived in their current role through a series of coincidences rather than a planned career progression!

When you’re young it’s a great time to try new things and build your skill base, so please encourage your employees to try different things (within reason!) to gain experience. You tend to have less fear and less to lose by making the wrong move when you’re young. Push them to take advantage of that and get out into the world. Trying something new is never a waste and will add depth both to their CV and to their character.

  • This blog is part of a series where Gillian will share hints and tips on how to support your CJS employee prepare for the end of their contract.
  • My World of Work
  • My World of Work is an online careers service form Skills Development Scotland, which includes a toolkit to help jobseekers to identify their skills, brush up their CV and build interview skills. As a CJS employer you are responsible for encouraging your employees to use the website and setting aside some time to help them through the tasks.
  • Check out our step-by-step guide on helping your employee to use the My CV Builder tool.
Important: Opinions expressed by bloggers are their own and don't represent those of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

by Gillian Anderson