Step 3 – Doing the Research For Your Dream Job

What You will Find on This Page . . .step 3 of the puzzle

  1. Instructions on How to Do Your Job Researching
  2. Links to the 4 P’s of Job Researching
  3. Knowing Why a Job is Right for You

Looking for Your Dream Job

In order to find your Dream Job, you need to do a little digging to know what’s out there in the workplace.
There are many places you can research what people do in different jobs.

A really good information site is ALIS – The Alberta Learning Information Service. You don’t have to live in a place to benefit from the information they are putting out about jobs. The general characteristics of most jobs are pretty much the same everywhere, with some minor refinements. You can research the jobs you are interested in and find out what the expectations are. This will help you to formulate your own questions about these jobs to do more research.

Career Videos

You can look at their Career Videos – be sure to listen to the Help Video by clicking on the first tab called “ALIS Help Videos” – and find out details about the jobs you are interested in. You may even find a job you never heard of, that is perfect for you. You can then take that information and build on it. Now is the time to look around, before you get settled into a field that you may have to leave later. Your Dream Job is waiting for you. You just need to do a little research to find it.

7 Tips for Doing Occupational Research

1. Get the Results you compiled from the Occupational Research Worksheet in Step 2, which you’ll find in Career Manual 2 Appendix 1 – The Occupational Research Template.
After you compile your list of jobs:
– Go down the column – which had the most jobs you liked.
– Circle the jobs you now want to look at more closely.

2. Compile a folder for each job – to collect your printouts, notes, photos, whatever is related to the job.

3. Begin Your Paper Search
Hint: Use The Basic Questions Checklist so you won’t waste time later during your 15 minute ‘Information Interviews’, asking questions you could easily have found the answers to on your own, using this list.

4. As you gather information, make your own list of questions that come to mind – especially those to which you can’t find the answers. Use these in your Information Interviews.

5. When ready, move into your PC Researching using – Job Banks, Video Career Clips, Occupational Profiles.

6. After you have completed your Paper and PC Researching, begin arranging for your People Researching that is, your Informational Interviews.

7. If possible, volunteer wherever you can, to try out the work – and get behind the scenes, to meet people you don’t have access to now.

When you have collected all the information you think necessary, go over the folders and make your final decision on your Dream Job. If you are still unsure, consider a Job Shadowing Opportunity.


There are 4 kinds of Informational Search Tools you can use, as you look into possible jobs that are right for you.

– involves going to sources of printed information like libraries, career centers, bookstores, looking at Career Sections in the newspaper archives, Association journals, career magazines. This is a good first step to get you started.

– involves going online. You are still operating within the comfort zone of your own home. You can get a lot of up-to-date information by surfing the web.
Job Banks – let you see what employers expect in the jobs they are advertising.
Career Videos – give you a feel for the work by watching people working in the field showing what they do.
Occupational Profiles – give you the nitty gritty details: duties, working conditions, personal characteristics, educational requirements, salary, etc.

– which gets you “up close and personal” and talking to people who are actually working in the jobs you’re considering.
– a great way to check out the information that you found and the questions that came to mind (that you couldn’t find the answers to) while you were doing your ‘Paper’ and ‘PC’ research. Here, through ‘Informational Interviewing’, you can get the answers from the ‘Sources’ in the field.

– takes you into the world of work, where you get to ‘try on for size’ the jobs you are considering. It can involve:

  • Touring a workplace and meeting people on the job.
    Hint: Businesses will sometimes advertise ‘Open House’ events to the public, in order to create interest in their products.

  • Visiting training programs and interviewing the instructors, taking a look at the materials they use in the courses, and talking to the students. [Government sponsored programs are more likely to let you do this, than private schools.]
  • Job shadowing – following someone around on the job and observing them at work – to get an idea if you can see yourself doing that job.
  • Volunteering in the field – the best way to be sure that you are ‘on track’ with your Career Choice.

I know many people who neglected to do their participation research, and ended up wasting years of training and money preparing for jobs that were not at all like they imagined.

Knowing Why a Job is Right for You

Searching and gathering information may not be glamorous and it takes effort, but it’s really the best way to know what’s best for you. When you make your final decision on Your Dream Job, you will also know the reasons why this is the best job for you.


Rather than assumptions based on your imagination, you will have solid reasons why this is the best career for you in your field at this time. Are you getting closer to deciding on the job you truly love? If not, take as much time as you need to go back and search the areas you are interested in. Only you will know for sure, when you have struck gold. Keep going until you find it.

The job you dream of doing right now, in your ‘Chosen Field’ is not set in stone. Although it is one of the big pieces in deciding on your Best Career Match – which will span your lifetime. Your ‘Dream Job’ can and probably will change, as you change, and your needs change, as you move through life. You will probably grow into and out of a variety of jobs in your field.

But your “Best Career Match” will not change. It is made up of your Occupational Field of Knowledge, plus whatever Dream Job you happen to be in love with, or excited about at the time.

The Occupational Field you choose to work in is based on your basic interests, the ones you’ve always had. And this field of knowledge usually remains constant throughout your life.

Let’s Begin with


This Link Will Take You Through Steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Program

Links to Step 1 - The 5 Career Tests on This Site

Step 1 - Discovering Who You Are
Links to Step 2 - Career Exploration

Step 2 - Exploring Your Career Options
Links to Step 3 - Getting into the Nitty Gritty

Step 3 - Doing the Research For Your Dream Job
Links to Step 4 - Taking Care of Your Career

Step 4 - Managing Your Career - Doing Career Planning
Are you wondering: "What Career is Best for Me?"

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