Article: Job Information (Where to Find It)
This article looks at careers libraries and other sources of information, and gives advice on how to get the best out of them.
Using a library
You can find careers information in many places, including school libraries, Connexions and career service libraries, and general, public libraries.
The system used for finding careers information within Connexions centres and other careers libraries is different from the one you'll find in general, public libraries.
Careers libraries will use either a system called the Connexions Resource Centre Index (CRCI) or the Careers Library Classification Index (CLCI). The two systems are similar.
If you aren't sure which system the library uses, you can ask one of the staff. There might also be posters on the walls to help you find what you're looking for.
Both systems have a general information section. This covers information about work-related issues such as training and qualifications. In the Connexions service, this section also includes topics to do with everyday life, including housing, relationships, healthy eating and bullying.
The CLCI general information section is called the 'A section'. Connexions services and libraries that use the CRCI system list general information under headings such as 'Choices', 'Education', 'Money' and 'Where to get help'.
Job information in both systems is divided into groups of jobs that relate to each other. Each of these is given a CLCI or CRCI letter and is kept in alphabetical order.
For example, you'll find engineering jobs under R (CLCI) or G (CRCI). Jobs to do with plants, animals and nature are in W (CLCI) or H (CRCI).
Within these groups of letters, there are smaller groups of jobs with their own letters. For example, you'll find veterinary surgeon under WAL (CLCI) or HC (CRCI).
Remember, you can ask someone for help to find the jobs or general information you're looking for.
Using other sources of information
Apart from careers libraries, you should be able to find information on work-related subjects in your general, public library. Ask the librarian or use the searching system to find books on the subject you are interested in.
Other sources of information include newspapers and magazines. Local and national newspapers and magazines often have information about work.
For example, there might be articles about things like equal opportunities or lifestyles and work. There might be profiles of people doing different jobs.
There are also 'trade' magazines for specific jobs and industries (for example, 'The Stage' and 'Travel Trade Gazette'). Many of these have an online version.
The internet is very useful for searching for careers information. You can find lots of information on work, education, training and other topics. While the internet is good for finding information on your own, you might still need to talk to an adviser before you make any important decisions.
Talking to people is a good way of finding out about different jobs. As well as friends, family and careers/personal advisers, you can talk to people who are actually doing the job you are interested in.
You could try to get some work experience based on the job you are interested in. This will give you an excellent insight into the kind of environment you might want to work in.
But be prepared to do this kind of thing for free - your reward will be having a clearer idea of what you want to do, and perhaps a useful contact for when it comes to applying for jobs.
Using computer programs
There are many computer programs that can help you to find out about jobs, education and training.
Some of these programs are databases, where you can look up information on jobs that interest you. They might have photographs, videos or case studies to bring jobs more to life and make them easier to understand.
Other programs combine information on jobs with quizzes to help match you to suitable jobs, for example, based on what you're interested in and what your skills are.
Programs usually contain lists of contacts and resources you can use to find out more about the job. Often, you can click on links to go to organisations' own websites. You'll often be able to find the mentioned resources, such as books and CDs, in the careers library.
You can find computer guidance software in places like schools, universities, Jobcentre Plus offices, Connexions centres and careers libraries.
These include CASCAID programs such as Launchpad and New Kudos. These are available online, so you don't have to be in a careers library to use them. However, you might still need to talk to an adviser before making any decisions. You can access these programs through CASCAID's website.
A final point
Remember that wherever you get information from, it is only one view of things. For the best results, try to get as much information from as many different people and places as you can. That way, you can compare it all and make up your own mind.
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The A-Z of Careers and Jobs
Author: Susan Hodgson Publisher: Kogan Page
Ultimate Job Search
Author: Lynn Williams Publisher: Kogan Page