Setting Up a Good Career Foundation – Part 1

Career Foundation

Setting up a good career foundation is the most important step to ensuring that you are never without a career for too long should you ever encounter an unexpected job loss. You can build a good foundation whether you are changing careers or starting a new one.

Let’s look at three main objectives that make up a good career foundation: 1) Identify a career choice and research options, 2) Document your Requirements, and 3) Set your goals, Take action.

This simple formula is what I follow to ensure that I have the skills that are in demand at all times. It is also easy to follow and you can use it at anytime throughout your career journey. Let’s start at the beginning.

Identify a Career Choice: Building your career starts the moment you start thinking about what you want to do for a living. It has to be more than just looking for any type of job to do. You want a career that you are really good at, where you can grow and become an expert in and a career that will keep you employed.

Begin the process by asking yourself these two questions: “What do I want to do for a living? “What am I good at doing for a living?  A lot of us may choose to go for a career that we want. However, you have to be realistic and go for the career that you are most good at if you want to be successful. This also means being honest with yourself and coming to grips that what you want may not necessarily be what you are good at doing.

Research Options and Document Requirements: Next, research the job market to see where you fit in. This is vitally important. If you do not perform this step, you could be wasting valuable time and effort applying for jobs that is not a match to your background or career path.

  • Factor in 3-4 month of Research. This time frame afforded me the time to figure out what careers are in demand; the requirements needed in my experience and factor in how quickly I can obtain the position. Two other things you can do during this process are to:
    • Test the Market: In order for me to know if I was I was going in the right direction, I applied to one or two jobs to see if I get a response. Once I got a response I can ask the recruiter questions about my resume and experience on what led to them considering me for the position. This is a great way to gauge if your skills are in demand.
    • Brush up on Interviewing Skills:  Too often we forget about keeping this skill up after we get a job. As I get responses from recruiters, you can take this opportunity to brush up on your interviewing skills. Phone screen is a quick way to really pay attention to your sound, language and gauge their reaction to your answers and inquiries during the call.  Therefore, it is important that you practice often so that you are always prepared to give a great interview.

Set Goals and Take Action:  Once you have determined what your career path will be, performed the research, document all the requirements and test results, now you are ready to begin the job search. Starts applying aggressively and carefully review each opportunity that comes your way. What I found to be best practice is to give yourself about 3 to 6 months to obtain a new career. This is whether you are new to the workforce or transitioning to a new career. The expectation is that if you are new to working, it may be take up to 6 months to land your first job. If you are transitioning careers 3-4 months may be ideal for you, however, it is not uncommon for it take 6 months or more to make your move.

I hope that some of these tips help keep you focus on finding your next career opportunity. You can many other helpful tools and resources at and check back for more articles like these.