Three Steps to Explore Career Options with the New BLS Employment Projections

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Using employment projections is one important part of exploring career options, to making a good career decision. Career planning leader and valid career test provider Career Key recommends three steps to choosing a career with the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) job outlook predictions.

Using employment projections is one important strategy for exploring career options.

Using employment projections is one important strategy for exploring career options. You want to know which occupations and industries have a promising future. Career planning leader and valid career test provider Career Key, http://www.careerkey.org, recommends three steps to choosing a career with the latest job outlook predictions.

Recently the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its employment projections from 2012 to 2020, and now a user-friendly version is available for download. This is great news. While not infallible, this will give career seekers an excellent starting point for exploring promising occupations and industries

Career Key recommends three steps to choose a career using the new BLS projections:

Step 1. Know Yourself.
Clarify what your strengths, values, personality, and skills are. This will help you identify the occupations that best fit you. Taking a valid career test that measures the six Holland personality types is a good place to start. It will help you assess your dominant personality types. Holland’s respected theory of career choice is based on the concept of “person-environment” fit. Just be sure to choose a career test that is valid, one that measures what is claimed.

There are many other valuable activities you can do, like those listed in the “Learn More About Yourself” and “Identify Your Skills” articles at The Career Key website.

Step 2. Know Your Options and Learn About Them.
Most valid career tests will help you identify occupations that are likely to fit you. As you explore these, you will see others that look like good possibilities that you will want to investigate, too.

Think outside the box and make sure to consider career options within industries BLS says will grow (like healthcare), even if it seems very different from your interests. For example, there are Artistic occupations within healthcare, like Medical Illustrator, Graphic Artist, and Scientific Photographer.

Then make a list of the most promising ones.

The best way to learn about an occupation is to go to BLS’s online Occupational Outlook Handbook. But keep in mind that the new 2012-13 edition will not come out until late March, 2012. Until then, for employment projections, you want to use the Winter 2011-12 issue of the “Occupational Outlook Quarterly” (free PDF download).

The Career Key articles “Learn about Occupations” and “Learn More about the Jobs that Interest Me” suggest more ways to gather information. A recent Career Key blog focuses on finding unexpected opportunities in, “3 Steps to Finding a Promising Career in High-Tech or Any Growth Industry.”

Step 3. Make a Good Decision.
Following the four-step process described in Career Key’s “High-Quality Decision Making” article helps you consider the options and make plans to act on your career decision.

About The Career Key®
Since 1997, Career Key has been the #1 Internet source for helping people choose careers and college majors. Advertising and registration-free, it offers a valid career test, information, and advice articles based on the best practices and science in the field.

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Juliet Wehr Jones
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