Getting to know your chosen occupation

Illustrative representation of Getting to know your chosen occupation

Now that you have identified an occupation you might be interested in, it’s good to know what’s really involved in working in this occupation and what skills, training or qualifications (if any) are required for the job.

This can help you determine if you need to do further study and, if so, to find and choose the appropriate study. It can also help you decide if it’s the right occupation for you.

There is a lot of information about occupations out there and it’s important to recognise that an occupation can be found in many different industries and sectors.

  1. Understand what’s really involved in working in your chosen occupations. It’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of the day-to-day tasks required for the occupations you are interested in. You could do this a number of ways such as by:
  • researching the occupation
  • talking to somebody who works in the field
  • speaking to a careers adviser or
  • doing work experience. 

Take note of the types of tasks that are involved in the occupation, how much time is spent on each task and the types of people or clients you would interact with. Also take note of the work environment and conditions.

  1. Find out if there are any formal qualifications, occupational or industry licences or professional accreditations required to work in this field.

Some professional occupations require an industry or professional practice certification in addition to your formal qualifications (eg. chartered accountant or clinical psychologist). Lots of entry-level jobs also require industry certificates, like Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) for hospitality work or an Occupational Health and Safety White Card for the construction industry. You should also find out if employers have preferred course electives or education providers.

  1. Research the work experience, skills and personality traits employers require you to have to work in this occupation or industry.

Different employers often want quite different things. Take retail for instance, the service you provide as an assistant in a grocery store may be different to the service you might provide in a premium luggage store. Consider whether you are a flexible person who can adapt to different employer needs.

These tools can help you:

…Or you can browse Job Jumpstart for other ideas and suggestions of what to do next.