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Looking for a new career? Here are some tips

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

Looking for a new career is hard - it is even harder when you are unsure what you actually want to do!

Below I have listed some tips that might help you with your decision. These are just some of the strategies you can use to help figure out the type of career that you want.

I also have a 'Career Support' page on my website and I have listed other resources to support your career search.

Disclaimer - I have posted up some websites, I don't recommend anyone more than the other, they are just as reference tools. As with any website that you join up with, this is at your own risk, so please keep your login details and passwords safe. Don't sign up to anything unless you are sure of the website's validity.

Tips when looking for new careers ideas

Answer some questions from the career blast exercise below. Highlight the ones that are most important to you – these can help you focus on the factors that are most important to you.

1.Career Blast Exercise

Read the questions and answers the ones relevant to you. Respond quickly to them as this will help capture an immediate response, which tends to be a better reflection metal reaction to what you are really looking for.

  • Areas that you are interested in?

  • What motivates you?

  • Consider your natural strengths and what you enjoy?

  • Are you passionate about?

  • What are your priorities?

  • Are you wanting to be an employee or self-employed?

  • What do you know that you really want to avoid in your job/career?

  • What would people who know you well say you are good at?

  • What skills, knowledge and experience do you possess?

  • What do you like more/least about your current job (if applicable)?

  • What do you want more of (in your professional life)?

  • What do you want least of (in your professional life)?

  • Do you want to take on more responsibilities at work?

  • Do you want fewer responsibilities at work?

  • Can you work well under pressure?

  • Do you want to avoid target driven occupations?

  • What do you want to change in your current situation/employment?

  • What factors are important to you e.g. (money, learn a new skill, responsibility)

  • How far are you willing to travel?

  • Do you want to develop your career to a higher level?

  • Would you consider further training/part education?

  • Are you looking full time, part-time, permanent or temporary employment?

  • Do you want to work for an ethical company? (eg. Green peace, Lush)

  • Do you want to work for a small but growing organisation?

  • Do you want to work for a large or global organisation?

  • Who/what influences your career choice? For example - family, money, peers, you, other?

  • What would you be happy to spend the next 25-40 years of your life doing?

2. Speak to a career adviser or career coach.

Life Coach Directory

Free Career Services in Belfast Surrounding Areas 

Careers Mentoring Service in Belfast. GEMS NI is a charity, that I had the pleasure to work with for 2.5 years. They are a free service that focuses on helping people gain employment. They offer an excellent mentoring service. To be eligible for their support, you would have to meet certain criteria. You can discuss this with them over the telephone - 07936807232 or email:

Opening hours:  

Monday to Wednesday and Friday 9.00 am to 4.30 pm 

Thursday 10.00 am to 4.30 pm (excluding public holidays) 

Phone: 0300 200 7820 

Carrickfergus: Davys Street, Carrickfergus, BT38 8DJ 

Belfast: 56 Ann Street, Belfast, BT1 4EG 

Ballymena: Academy House, 121a Broughshane Street, Ballymena, BT43 6HY 

Larne: 59 Pound Street. Larne, BT40 1SB 

Lisburn: 71 Bow Street, Lisburn, BT28 1BJ 

UK & Ireland Based Career Services

Career Services Contacts at F.E Colleges in Northern Ireland

SWRC: contact number: 028 8225 0109

Student Finance in other parts of the UK

3. Join career or job hunting groups on Facebook or LinkedIn

If you use Facebook or Linkedin, use the search bar and type words like - career support, career group, job postings. job group, jobs in Belfast, jobs in England, jobs in Scotland, job support.

I have one that I post jobs into for people living in the Carrickfergus - Belfast - Bangor areas. On Facebook - Career Support 360

Alternatively, you can contact your local jobcentre or community centre and enquire about any job clubs in the local area. Joining a group is very beneficial as it can they can support you and you can also meet people in a similar situation. Job clubs will help to motivate you and also help you not to feel so alone in your job search.

4. Talk to family and friends.

Family and friend often know of an opening in places that they work in. They can also help to recommend you to potential employers. Ask family and friends to identify the skills and abilities that they see in you. Skills count and can help influence the type of work that you can do.

5. Complete some online career assessments.

6. Explore career profiles

e.g. Finding what other job offer, skills ranges, qualifications that you need for them etc.


7. Explore personality assessments

Personality assessments can recommend types of work that you would be suited to your persona.

Please be aware that some may charge you a fee to release your final report.

8. Go to at least 5 job websites and look at different job fields and job advertisements.

Read the descriptions. Are there any positions that you can see yourself doing? Are their positions you would consider upskilling for?

Job advertisements often contain a wealth of information such as - the types of duties, names of local employers, pay rates, personality and work traits, skills that you need to do the job, qualification and experience requirements.

Northern Ireland Based

UK Based


9. Conduct some research on the companies/industries/job roles that you would consider.

Examples of job fields

· Accountancy, banking and finance.

· Business, consulting and management.

· Charity and voluntary work.

· Creative arts and design.

· Energy and utilities.

· Engineering and manufacturing.

· Environment and agriculture.

· Healthcare

· Hospitality

· Information Technology

· Law enforcement and security

· Leisure, sports and tourism

· Marketing advertising and PR

· Media and internet

· Property and construction

· Public services and administration

· Recruitment and HR

· Retail

· Sales

· Science and Pharmaceutical

· Social Care

· Teaching and education

· Transport and logistics

10. Use google maps or

  • Who are the local employers in your areas?

  • Are there any that you would consider working for?

  • Look at their recruitment section and read their latest news.

  • Consider sending a speculative application - CV and cover letter

11. Consider some volunteering or completing a short unpaid placement at the organisation.

Use google or to search for companies in your area. Telephone or write to them - asking if they would facilitate voluntary work or placement.

12. Alternatively, you could look into some type of internship or sign up for temporary paid employment.

Internships - Some organisations offer internships to students. Careers advisers at most universities or further education colleges should be able to give you a list of employers advertising internships.

Temporary employment can also give you the chance to experience different types of work and you will also get paid for it.


Recruitment Agencies

If you live in Northern Ireland - click on the PDF below.

Recruitment Agencies pdf
Download PDF • 491KB

Hope you find some of this information useful?

If you want to speak to (Paula) me -I can be reached at to arrange an appointment via Skype. I offer a free 30 minute chat to discuss your situation.

Check out the website

Or other employability blogs that I have written.

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