Job & Career Information
Looking to learn more about a certain job or interested in a possible new career? These are some of my best recommendations for gathering FREE information on a countless number of different jobs and careers out there in the world, with information covering everything from overall job descriptions to the smaller (but yet so important!) details like job stability and outlook, earnings potential, education or skills needed, and much more.
One of the most valuable and extensive career and work resources you’ll find. The website contains a multitude of information and reports on the state of the current job climate and workforce in America, but the real treasure of this website is the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
This resource will allow you to look up nearly any job you can imagine and find nearly anything you could want to know about that particular job. You’ll find a detailed description of what professionals in that job do, as well as accurate information on income potential, job growth, demand, education or skills required, work environment, and even occupations that are similar to the job you’re looking at. You can also search for jobs by using a variety of filters such as highest paying jobs, most in-demand jobs, education requirements (among many others) to find inspiration for the perfect job for you.
I’ve used this site countless times throughout my life and have found it immensely beneficial – I hope you do too! It is a one-stop shop for job and career information and often many other career or work websites on the internet pull “their” job data from the BLS website – you might as well go right to the source!
O-Net OnLine is another job and career database similar to the Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) website. Once again it has detailed descriptions of nearly any job imaginable and provides insight into each of these occupations with a variety of metrics, statistics, and other data points. I find O-Net to be a lot more data-oriented, extensive and detailed than the BLS database, so there is quite a bit more to dig into here if you are willing to look for it!
Some other interesting additions you’ll find with O-Net OnLine are links to job postings for each career, additional websites that can provide details on that career (Accountants will find links to websites with information on the CPA certification for example), and personality interest codes that show where these jobs line up in comparison to results you may get from well known career-personality tests such as the STRONG assessment.
O-Net Online has even created their own career and interests assessment that can help identify what careers you might be a great fit for. It is modeled off of the six key interest areas covered in the well known STRONG assessment and can be quite informative to take yourself. You can check out the O-Net assessment by clicking HERE. You can also find my recommendations for additional career and personality assessments on the Mr. Happy Work Career & Personality Tests page.
Looking for more salary data for a particular job? I recommend Salary.com. There are a variety of websites you can find salary data from, but I find Salary.com to be one of the better resources to use. You can pull very detailed salary data for any variety of jobs or careers, and filter easily by zip codes or geographic regions, years of experience, education or certification levels, and more. Data is presented in a very easy to read manner and supported by appealing visuals, charts, and graphs. You can also see detailed data on typical benefits or bonuses these positions may provide, as well as a detailed description of the job and the ability to explore it more.
One of the best ways to can find information about a certain job is to look at job listings for that job! Go on to any reputable job board and type in the position you are looking to learn more about. Take some time to look through a variety of the job listings and see what employers are actually looking for. An even better step would be to specifically look at jobs in your local area, or the area or companies you are targeting. Not only will you learn what those specific jobs are looking for, you’ll get a great idea of what the demand is for that particular job in the area, company, or industry you search!
You can check out some of my recommendations for my favorite job boards here: Mr. Happy Work – Job Boards & Staffing Agencies
Job Shadowing and Interviews
This method requires a more active effort on your part as you’ll be needing to connect directly with another individual, but it can potentially be the most rewarding of all! You can even use the world wide web to your advantage to reach more prospective contacts than ever before. What exactly is this method of acquiring job information? It’s connecting with professionals working in the fields or jobs you are interested in and asking for opportunities to job shadow them, or have a discussion with them to learn more about their careers. You can learn a tremendous amount of valuable information simply by asking, and more often than not people are more than happy, may even be very excited, to share with you some facets of their particular job or career. Sure you’ll get some rejections or be ignored along the way, but the people who do agree to share a bit of their career life with you can lead to some of the best discoveries of all.
One of the best parts of utilizing this method is that it’s truly one of the best ways that I think you can get a really good feel if you actually like a particular job or not. Despite all the research, review, and soul-searching in the world you may do, sometimes you never truly know if you like something until you actually try it, or get to experience it in a more personal or direct way. Job shadowing and interviews open up the door for that opportunity!
Where to find professionals for these types of opportunities? Start with local businesses, friends, family, or other professional contacts. Sometimes even a walk-in or cold call to a local business can open the door to opportunity. Attend networking events in your area, or other industry-specific events or job fairs where you may find professionals to connect with. After that, use the power of the Internet. Send emails to companies through their contact pages, or find professionals from sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or other Social Media websites and pages. I personally have had LOTS of success interviewing people from LinkedIn groups in the careers I was interested in. The possibilities are endless, and so are the potential benefits!
Glassdoor is useful when looking for information on a specific company. You can find reviews from current and former employees on how they felt it was to work with their company, as well as user-submitted data on salary ranges and interview questions for individual companies. The important thing to keep in mind about Glassdoor, however, is that you need to take everything with a grain of salt. The majority of content is user submitted! Like any review site, jaded or disgruntled employees are more likely to write reviews so negative reviews often can make up the majority of the content. Likewise, you have to keep an eye out for fake positive reviews as well. The same goes for any salary data or interview questions. The information may or may not be legitimate, but with a good head on your shoulders, it can be used strategically when perhaps preparing for an interview with a certain company, or negotiating your salary to avoid letting the company lowball you.
Overall, the site is valuable for taking an inside look at a particular company, but be careful and don’t take everything you read as an absolute truth!
Robert Half is one of the largest recruiting and staffing firms in the country. Alongside their excellent job placement services, they actually offer some REALLY valuable job and work research reports that are 100% free. They do generally only cover certain major industries like Accounting/Finance, IT, Design, Legal, Business, etc., but many of their articles and research papers are all inclusive and will be relevant to working in any career or industry. In addition to their Annual Salary Reports on specific industries each year, they also provide research papers on trends such as the use of technology in the workplace, what leads to happy workers in the workplace, and the most in-demand careers or skills needed for work over the next several years. Very much worth taking a look at and perusing through their content!