Now that you have some idea about who you are and have a career goal (received your vocational counseling), it’s time to do some research. So let’s say you decide you want to be a lawyer. Begin by conducting some industry research – who hires lawyers, what skills and qualifications do they look for and what lifestyles are associated with this career? You are also probably interested in salary and job outlook in the legal profession.
Step 1: Get to know the industry. Start with the information right on your fingertips: the Internet. Simply google appropriate search terms such as “lawyer careers” or “types of legal jobs” and check out a few websites to get the big picture. Go ahead and visit several websites and read various articles to get multiple views and more comprehensive information.
Another great information base is the Career Resources Libguide. Thumb through several books regarding legal careers to add to your industry knowledge base. After gaining general information about the industry, suppose you decide that you are most interested in being a lawyer specializing in international business law.
Step 2: Research the skills and qualities necessary to succeed in this role. Find out what it takes to be a top notch lawyer. Please note skills and qualities are two different things. A definition of skill is “the ability to do something well arising from talent, training, or practice” such as writing, counseling and analyzing data. Qualities, on the other hand, means “an inherent or distinguishing characteristic” such as charisma, patience, persistence and agreeableness.
The better match there is between your skills and qualities and what the job requires of you, the happier you will be. A great way to find out what skills and qualities an employer is looking for is reading several actual job descriptions for that position. You can visit job sites such as indeed.com, simplyhired.com, gulftalent.com or bayt.com to find the appropriate job descriptions.
Step 3: To answer the above question, conduct an analysis to see if you are a good fit for this industry (legal) and a particular position (lawyer at a private firm specializing in international business). Do the tasks listed in the job description appeal to you? When you read articles about the culture and the lifestyle of the position, did they resonate with you or did you wrinkle your nose a bit involuntarily? Are you already in the habit of reading the business section of the paper and keeping up with the financial news or do only read the travel section?
After a thoughtful analysis, if you choose to consider an alternative career, repeat the research process. You will be making a hefty investment in your career in terms of money, time and energy. The more research you do, the better equipped you will be to make a smart decision that is uniquely tailored just for you.
Step 4: Narrow down your geographical locations. Pick up to three cities you are willing to move to after graduation. Being too open or too focused may hamper your job placement success. For example, considering all of Europe will mean you need to research all possible job opportunities in your field and position level. An arduous task. On the flip side, only considering Doha will mean your job options will be much narrower than if you also considered Dubai and New York City.
Step 6: Tailor each cover letter to the position you are applying for. Learn about the elements of writing a cover letter and see a sample.
Step 7: Prepare for the interview and conduct mock interviews with the Career Development Center staff.
To make an appointment for a counseling session, visit the Career Center on the first floor (across from the student lounge), room number IA38.
You can also email us to make an appointment.