Learn it Yourself (LIY)

Find Out What Your Dream Job Is and Get It

Career development mind map. It includes topics such as personal goals, resume and interviews, career interests, homework help and extracurriculars, and financial support.

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The New Forever

Most careers don’t last forever anymore.

Learning how to find a career and how to build on your career experience is the new forever.

Make these skills work for you and you’ll be able to handle any bumps on your career path.


Follow Your Goals

“Follow your dreams!” That super-popular saying should really say, “Follow your GOALS!”

Goals + a solid plan = dreams come true.

Check out the goal-setting module to help you make a personal development plan to bring those dreams to life (and other goals like improving your grades and finishing high school etc etc.)


Interests Lead to Careers

Usually people choose a career based on their interests or what they’re good at doing. Some people know exactly what they love to do and what their strengths are.

In case you don’t, or you want to explore a bit, check out the following links.

The VIA Strengths is a research-based quiz that will tell you your top 5 strengths (hint: use these results to help you choose a career direction.)

Careerinsite and Career Zone offer questionnaires to help you learn about your interests and abilities.

` External Link: To learn even more about yourself, visit the Centre for Career Action’s website.

` External Link: If you’re part of Rogers’ Raising the Grade, myBlueprint’s Discovery and Explorations tool will be super useful.


Develop Your Interests

So you know what you’re interested in or like to do but don’t know how to learn more?

Thanks to technology, most things can be learned from online sources. From video-editing and playing the guitar to basket weaving, there is something online that can help you learn.

Instructables.com and Udemy.com are two websites that can help you build your interests. If you can’t find some there there, use good old Google or Youtube.

You can even help someone else learn by sharing what YOU know on these sites.


How to Choose a Career

People choose careers for many different reasons:

  • satisfaction and happiness
  • money
  • location
  • work atmosphere
  • independence
  • prestigious titles
  • employment availability
  • family reasons or expectations

You need to decide what’s important to you.

` External Link: Career Zone’s Work Importance Profiler is a useful tool for this.


Money, Money, Money

Want to know how much money your particular career makes? Want to see the salary for another job?

The following interactive links will tell you everything and outline which fields are growing!

` External Link: Salary.com

` External Link: Working in Canada



Freelancer: Someone who is self-employed, not committed to an employer long-term, seeks out clients, sets their wage, and usually works from home or in their own office.

In today’s economy, you don’t have to be tied down to just one employer – you can be a freelancer or self-employed.

This infographic explains the surprising benefits and challenges in salaries and job opportunities for freelancers.

You can find more info including why people choose to freelance and the most popular freelancing industries in this infographic.

- Question: What percentage of freelancers saw an increase in income this past year?

1. 10%
2. 50%
3. 75%

The Day-to-Day

It’s easy to get caught up in high-powered career titles or salaries. You will spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week at your job so find out what you will actually be doing in your job.

myBlueprint.ca has a section for RTG members, Occupation Planner. The Career Project and The Learning Information Centre have resources about a ton of careers.

And with tech being one of the fasting growing industries, check out CareerMash to find out if tech is for you.

- Question: What is one of the fastest growing industries in the world?

1. Hot sauce production
2. Social networking games
3. All of the above

The 70/30 Rule

Jobs can’t be perfect all the time and there will always be parts that you don’t like.

Follow the 70/30 rule: If 70% of the time you’re doing work you enjoy, and only 30% of the time you’re not, you’ve got a job worth continuing.

If you’re doing things you don’t like more than 30% of the time, start using the career tools in this module to explore a new career.


Interests, Career Goals, & School

When you can connect school to your interests or career goals, school becomes a lot more interesting.

How do your courses connect with the end goal of developing your interests or helping you get the job you want?

Make sure you’re on the right track with your courses the High School Planner at myBlueprint to figure out which programs will help you get you into your career after high school and how to apply. SchoolFinder can point you in the right direction, too.


Homework Help

And just like with learning more about what you’re interested in, there is so much online to help you with your homework:

Khan Academy
Homework Help  ILC
Live Ink

` External Link: There’s even a program called Hoot.Me that can help you switch Facebook into study mode!



Getting good grades and graduating high school are only a few of the steps involved in getting a job in your career area.

Doing things outside of school – like clubs, volunteer activities, part-time jobs, starting a business – can help beef up your résumé, as well as your applications to schools and scholarships.

These extracurricular things can also help you discover your career interests, bringing you one step further on your career path.


Résumés and Interviews

Speaking of résumés – who here hates writing résumés and cover letters? Everyone? Thought so.

It’s a painful but necessary part of the job search. Might as well make the pain worth it by making your résumé amazing.

Make the process a little less painful by using this résumé infographic.  However you design your résumé, just make sure you don’t use the Word template. It’s overdone!

With your newly awesome résumé, you’re bound to get an interview.

` External Link: Be prepared with these tips!

- Question: Should you put a picture of yourself on your resume?

1. Yes
2. No

The Art of Spin

Learn the art of spin. You may have only had volunteer or work experience in a certain job industry but if you can outline the main skills you developed in each experience, you can put a spin on it.

No spin skills: cashier at fast food restaurant

Spin skills: customer service skills, communication skills, worked independently and in a team, quick learner, interpersonal skills, ability to learn new skills quickly

Now you can apply those skills to other job areas!

What spin can you put on the things you’ve done in your life so far?


You: Online

Everybody is now searchable online and employers (and schools, and bursary and funding committees, and volunteer organizations etc etc) are using the internet as a hiring tool.

Make yourself stand out by using the same tools to your advantage. Learn how in the RTG Eportfolio/Online Identity module.

You can use these tools to document your employment and achievements like a résumé but you can also use them to share your interests and personality.

Oh, and this Career Cake video will give you a glimpse about Twitter and the job search.

- Question: Will having a public social media profile be positive or negative for your career?

1. Only positive
2. Only negative
3. Depends

Job Postings

The good thing – and bad thing – about career searching is that we now have the internet. There is an overload of info on the internet. Half the battle is filtering it.

You can find jobs in online job banks like Workopolis.com and Monster.ca or directly on companies’ websites.

Even though there are so many job postings online, it’s important to talk to people in your career industry or at the company where you want to work. Tell everyone you know about the kind of job you’re looking for (from summer jobs to permanent career jobs.) You never know who can help you out!


Informational Interviews

Try to make connections in real life. Do an informational interview. It’s basically just talking in person or on the phone with someone who is doing the job you’re exploring.

Informational interviews are first and foremost about information gathering but it’s also about making connections. Once you’ve built an on-going relationship with the person, they will be more likely to help you when you’re looking for a job.

` External Link: Check out 5 Tips for a Non-Awkward Informational Interview to make it, well, not awkward.

- Question: Why are informational interviews useful?

1. You learn more about the career you’re interested in.
2. You can get a job out of it.
3. Both

Start a Business

Want to become an entrepreneur? Being a business owner is a career and businesses can be started at any age – you just have to know how.

Explore the websites for Sprout, Under 30 CEO, and Young Entrepreneur to learn how to start a business and make it work.

Your business could be based on your interests, providing a service, selling a product –  it’s up to you.


Financial Support

Whether it’s starting a business, or funding an apprenticeship, college or university education, you need money.

Mint.com is a site that lets you track your financial goals and progress.

It’s not always about having the best grades. There are a lot of funding opportunities based on extracurricular activities, heritage, or fields of study.

Canlearn.ca and ScholarshipsCanada.com list an incredible amount of available financial support for post-secondary education and apprenticeships.

Applications can seem tricky but that’s why there’s Scholarship Training which will teach you HOW to apply and get that cash!


Next Steps

Maybe you have your career path totally mapped out. Maybe you have a goal but no plan.

Or maybe you have absolutely no idea what you want to do (just like about 80% of the world.)

Either way, head over to Set Goals and Make Them Happen to create something that works for you and where you’re at.

You can also check out Non-Obvious Online Safety and Use Your Online Presence For Your Goals to master career planning.