Are you unemployed? Do you want to break into a new field? Where do you start your job search? A successful job search starts with a strategy; a plan with defined tasks that will help you achieve your goal.

Your first step: Take time to look at what motivates and interests you. Begin by identifying your skills, interests and values. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What were some things you liked about previous jobs?
  • Are there any moments that stand out or projects that you really enjoyed?
  • What were your favorite classes in school?
  • What work-related activities do you like doing?

The goal of this process is to dig into your motivations and passions. This exercise should act as a spring board for exploring careers that will be a good fit for you. Matching a job with your skills, interests and values will lead to higher job satisfaction. It will also save you time and help you organize the next steps of your job search process by narrowing down what fields to explore.

West Michigan Works! offers services to help you get started with your job search, including skills assessment, one-on-one career coaching and help finding training to prepare for a new career. Scholarships are available for high-demand occupations; check our Hot Jobs List for jobs eligible for training scholarships. You can also check out these free, online career exploration tools:

  • O*Net Online provides information on careers you might be interested in –
  • Pure Michigan Talent Connect’s Michigan Career Explorer offers career research and exploration resources –
  • My Next Move can help you narrow down careers based on what you like to do and offers tools specifically for veterans –