I admit that I do not enjoy grocery shopping. I know it’s a necessary chore to avoid the high cost of continually eating out but I’m honest with myself. I find accomplishing that chore easier by simply entering the store, getting what I need, and exiting as soon as possible to get back to doing what I enjoy. I call it grocery getting as opposed to grocery shopping.
Furthermore, I don’t like shopping in general and do the same when shopping for other necessities – get in and out as quickly as possible. Of course, that’s not true with entertainment items like electronics (I go shopping because it’s personal.)
The same is true when shopping for a job or career. In the past, I applied without any regard to my interests, the company, or any other information. I got the job and became like so many others who ended up hating their job or were let go because of no growth in that industry. If I had taken the time to shop for a job or career, that might not have happened.
Like a home improvement painting project, much of the work is in the planning stage (moving furniture, taping walls, purchasing paint, etc.). Shopping for a job or career is the same. There is a lot of time spent planning and researching about yourself and the industry or company.
The best tool to use in your employment planning stage is labor market information (LMI). LMI is a broad term so we might get lost in all the data such as labor underutilization, multifactor productivity trends, major work stoppages, and so on. However, we can drill down to what is important to us: jobs available that I enjoy, have a skill in, located in my city, and have some growth.
Fortunately, Workforce Solutions simplifies the process and has labor market information available for free on our Career Exploration page. On that page, under Occupation Profiles we can find labor market information including:
- A brief description,
- Annual job openings,
- Number of jobs in the Gulf Coast,
- Salary information,
- And basic education requirements.
That is so much easier to digest unless you are a statistician looking for employment with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As for me, I need only basic information to help me shop for a new job or career.
Another great resource is O*Net OnLine. The “Occupation Quick Search” at the upper right side of the opening page allows you to explore a host of information by simply adding a search term (i.e., “teacher”). The summary report includes basic descriptions and other information such as salary and expected growth.
These are just two examples of labor market information to help you shop for a new job or career instead of getting the next job without at least a small amount of investigation. Your planning will pay off because, after all, it is personal.