Feeling Stuck? How to Get Started

Ready to get your life in gear?
Kick-start your job future in 5 steps.

Although there are a tremendous number of jobs available right now, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices available or just simply feel stuck with making a decision, especially if you’re between the end of school and the beginning of whatever comes next.

You’re not alone. Getting started is often the hardest part. You may not yet have a clear career preference or may be worried about making a decision that impacts the rest of your life. The good news is there are lots of free resources available that will help guide you through options for good-paying jobs and information on long-term careers that let you be self-sufficient in whatever lifestyle you choose.

To help you get started, here are 5 Steps from Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas you can use as your personal checklist to get off dead center and back on track to a career you can be excited about.

Step 1. Get a reality check.

Sometimes the best way to move forward is to work your way back from the desired outcome. Even if you’re not sure what exactly you want to do in life, chances are you have a good idea of how you want to live. Texas Reality Check and My Next Move are both great tools that help you figure out how to achieve your goal of “living the good life.”

Texas Reality Check is an interactive tool that walks you through how much your living expenses will cost based on lifestyle selections you input and calculates the amount of money you’ll need to earn to pay for them. You can also review a list of jobs that meet that income level.

My Next Move is another interactive site that lets you learn more about career options, skills required, and salary information for more than 900 different careers. Their O*Net Interest Profiler even offers personalized career suggestions based on your interests and level of work experience.

Step 2. Figure out the types of jobs that appeal to you.

Some people want a job they love. Some people want a job that lets them do the things they love to do. There’s no right or wrong answer. Texas Career Check is a great place to start where you can compare job availability and salaries, determine your likes and interests, and explore different occupations.

If you decide you’re simply ready to work now, a good place to start is by looking at Demand Occupations or Targeted Occupations. Demand Occupations are those that frequently have a high number of job openings and are hiring now. Targeted Occupations are also jobs that are in high demand and usually require job training (see Step 3) but often offer the opportunity for you to “earn while you learn.”

Step 3. Get trained or get a degree – and earn while you learn.

Jobs that offer better pay, benefits, and stability usually require formal training, apprenticeship, or some type of certification. The good news is many Targeted Occupations also offer job training that is free to you and will also pay you while you learn. You can learn more about what types of jobs offer free job training here. You can also find financial assistance for help with earning certifications or two-year degree programs needed for Targeted Occupations. Check with a Workforce Career Specialist to see what assistance you might qualify for – including childcare or transportation if needed while you’re training.

Step 4. Perfect your résumé and practice your interview.

Now that you have more direction on where you’re headed, you want new employers to know you’ve put in the work and are a serious job candidate. Presenting your best self includes a polished résumé that reflects that as well as knowing how to handle a job interview.

Career Match walks you through how to find the right job, create a strong résumé (whether or not you have a long work history), and polish your communication skills. It also addresses common questions you may be asked during an interview, tips on how to handle them, plus a whole lot more.

Step 5. Polish and upgrade your skills.

Once you get a job, don’t stop there. You’ll want to stay up to date with skills required in your job and new skills that will help you advance into higher-paying positions.

Whether you’re fresh out of school and have no idea what to do next, or you’ve been out of work for a while, you can use the 5 steps above to reset and restart. You’ll also find many more free resources available to you on our website. And ask questions! We’re here to help and available by calling 1.877.834.5627, or by visiting one of our four local Workforce Centers in Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange, or Silsbee.