Career & Jobs

Why You May Be Missing Out On Great Job Opportunities

Making career decisions is a source of anxiety for college students and career changing job seekers alike, even in a good economy. Add to that the uncertainty about whether the role you choose is stable or will pay enough, and making an educated decision about your options becomes almost impossible. 

It’s no surprise then that so many Americans change their careers at least once, and often multiple times throughout their lives. Our education system simply does not provide us with enough context and information to make the best choices. This is in part because in many industries job titles and the corresponding responsibilities are constantly changing, and at an increasingly rapid pace. 

Take for example the fast growing technology sector. A job title like “Account Manager” has been around for a long time, and typically falls under the sales or post-sales function in a company where you manage some of the organization’s accounts. But in 2013, you’d be surprised to hear of a completely new title called “Customer Success” that requires a similar skillset and has similar goals. 

Today there are dozens of Customer Success oriented conferences hosted annually with thousands of attendees all over the country. 

As another example, someone who was called a “Growth Hacker” just seven years ago would now more appropriately be referred to as a “Product Marketer.” And if you’re looking to get into marketing, there are dozens of titles you need to know about, including Content Marketing Manager, Brand Strategist, Social Media Manager, SEO Specialist, etc. But if you don’t know to look for these roles and understand some of the nuances in evolving titles, you may be completely cut out of the running for any job opportunities in the field unless you lucked into it. 

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Given the ambiguity around the ever changing nature of job titles, and more importantly the lack of information about what those jobs are actually like, more has to be done to educate people about all the various roles accessible to them that are in high demand.

Fortunately, some organizations and educational institutions are helping bridge this knowledge gap. 

School16 offers free weekly seminars hosted by current professionals at top technology companies who break down exactly what their jobs are like, and how people can increase their likelihood of landing opportunities in those roles.

Upkey helps college students transition to the professional world by partnering them with online mentors who can help guide their job search strategy along with how they present themselves to potential employers. 

The Muse creates company profiles for employers listed on their site so you can get a sense of the culture at the company, the types of roles they hire for, and what it might be like to work there before you decide to apply to a job.

If you’re a bit further along in your job search process, there are several communities that can provide deeper insight into the most in-demand roles, such as Slack groups dedicated to Product Management, or online communities focusing completely on Sales and Marketing careers.

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Whatever our career interests may be, we can no longer rely on traditional institutions to provide us with the necessary information to make the right choices that will maximize our professional potential. But with access to information being democratized more than ever before, there are plenty of resources that can help you in your search, as long as you know where to look.

Disclaimer: The authors are affiliated with School16, a resource mentioned in this article.

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