My 10 Favorite Online Resources to Learn About Career Paths
I’m a big proponent of taking an active approach when it comes to exploring future careers. That means learning by doing: talking to people, trying things out, immersing yourself in a culture or project. With that said, there’s still a ton of information at our fingertips that can be of help when it comes to learning about careers.
Because of my bias toward action in career exploration, I believe that online information can serve as a great spark, or a place to begin your journey. It can help you uncover new fields or occupations you may not have known about, and help you rule out others so that you can get into action more quickly. So, here I’ve rounded up 10 of my favorite resources to help ignite your own career exploration.
To Learn More About Occupations
1. O*Net Online breaks down every occupation in detail, outlining things like education, skills, and knowledge required as well as typical tasks, salary, and industry outlook. Use the keyword search on the homepage or try an advanced search by skills, interests, or work activities.
2. Media Bistro is commonly known as a strong search engine for those interested in marketing, communication, and entertainment. But did you know they also provide excellent overviews of positions in their career advice column? For example, you can find articles called “What Does a Content Strategist Do? And “What Does a Publicist Do?” on the site.
3. The Princeton Review makes it easy to get the lowdown on various careers by typing in keywords in their search engine. You’ll find a short description of a day in the life of different careers, plus a look at the career path someone in that role could take in both 5 and 10 years down the road.
4. Break Into Tech is a go-to site for those interested in, well, breaking into tech. Jeremy Schifeling, Founder of the site, shares the knowledge he’s gained through his own transition from education to tech. Be sure to check out his very thorough descriptions of “no-coding tech jobs.”
To Read Career Profiles of Real Professionals
5. Create+Cultivate highlights profiles of high-power and inspirational creative women. Think bloggers, stylists, musicians, and creative entrepreneurs. You’re sure to feel motivated to put your creative juices to work after reading a few of these.
6. The Everygirl gives you a real picture of various careers through the profiles of women like Allison Smith, Occupational Therapist at St. Jude and Lisa Whitelock, Senior Exec at Motorolla.
7. The Muse offers an inside look at various companies around the country. This database is particularly helpful if you don’t know what type of role you want, but you are clear on the type or organization or environment you’d like to be in. Read interviews of employees to get a sense of what position titles might be a good fit for you.
8. Career Contessa hosts hundreds of interviews with real women doing cool things. I love the variety of careers they highlight – everything from foreign service officer to accountant to product designer. Written in Q&A style, you get a sense of each woman’s perspective from these interviews.
To Watch Interviews with Professionals
9. Roadtrip Nation has produced informational interviews for over 15 years, as young professionals roadtripped around the country to learn more about the world of work. Watch the shows online or browse the archives to find relevant interviews based on interest.
10. Levo, the popular career-minded site has an incredible library of recorded conversations with exceptional leaders including well-known authors, VPs, and co-founders. These conversations will give you an inside look at the career path and personal advice directly from industry leaders.
After taking in this new information, my challenge to you is to take action in some way. For example, you could…
- Reach out to someone in one of these careers/companies/roles you read about to ask for an informational interview
- Take on a new freelance or side project
- Volunteer with an organization you care about
- Attend a networking event or professional association meeting
Note that if you haven’t taken the time to consider who you really are and how that impacts your work, I’d recommend doing so before jumping into some of these resources and activities. Consider your strengths, interests, personality, and values first so that you can then evaluate opportunities and information from there.
Give it a shot and see what you learn about yourself and new potential career opportunities!