Site Guides Job Seekers on Career Journey

By Toni Vranjes

August 26, 2011

Would you expect an ophthalmologist to make the switch to bank teller, or a fine-arts teacher to become a nuclear-medicine physician? According to the website Inside Jobs, they often do.

Inside Jobs is a career-exploration site that profiles thousands of positions. These profiles can help you learn not only about the jobs themselves, but also about common career paths.

“The main idea behind the site is to provide a space where people can explore their options and opportunities,” says Annie Favreau, the site’s outreach coordinator.

The profiles include a basic description of the job duties. They also include a box that provides information about salary, work schedule, and work environment. You can also click on a link called “Help me find Online Training for this career.”

At the bottom of the profile page, you’ll sometimes see a graphic that shows jobs that most frequently precede and follow the position you’re researching. The company analyzes resumes and job postings to create these graphics, Favreau says.

You can also search more broadly, by visiting the career families section, where you can find information about 10 different “families.” If you click on, say, arts and entertainment, you’ll find a wide variety of jobs. For instance, if you click on visual merchandiser, you’ll learn that the position involves overseeing the display exhibits in a retail store. It’s an hourly, salaried position, with a salary range of $20,880 to $32,950. The jobs that commonly precede this position include dresser, photo stylist, and fashion editor. The jobs that often follow include fashion coordinator, merchandise coordinator, and fashion stylist.

Inside Jobs also has a tool for people who have a vague idea of what they’d like to do, but aren’t quite sure what job title to pursue. Under the section “Discover new jobs you’ll love,” you can describe your dream job in a few words. When you click the search button, you’ll see a list of jobs that match those keywords.

The site even provides a “Show me Jobs…” tool that offers various suggestions. For instance, it allows you to search for positions that are “more social,” offer “more recognition,” are “more meaningful,” or “have better pay” than a given job.

You can also find articles on an array of topics, like Going Solo—Five Tips for Beginning Freelancers and Computer Forensics Certificate: What is it and why do I need one?

The website is relatively new. A small team launched the site in 2010, and the company unveiled a redesigned site earlier this year. Now, the team is expanding its offerings, by adding videos that feature interviews with professionals who discuss what it’s like to work in a particular field.

Favreau also offers some tips for finding the right career path for you. Start by “thinking really big” and seeing all the possibilities, she advises. What interests you, and how can you best use your skills? Then, learn as much as possible about the field you’re targeting, so you can be a more competitive applicant.

“We all have things we’re good at,” Favreau says. “It’s a matter of looking at all the places where those skills could be useful.”

So if you’re in the mood to explore, and you’re looking for brief profiles that can quickly give you the feel of a particular job, you might want to visit Inside Jobs. It’s not the only resource you should check out, but it’s one of many that could help.

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