Step 2 - Know What's Out There

This step will help you determine where you want to be.  It is a time to explore your options, whether they are an improvement within your current position, advancement in your organization, or beginning a new career.  It is important to know what occupations and opportunities are out there and what employment trends may affect your career planning.

Occupational Research


Labour Market Information

– Why is it important?

Once you have a list of occupations that interest you, you will need to find out more about them:

  • What is the work actually like?
  • What are the working conditions, hours, and wages for this job?
  • What are the opportunities for getting a job in your area?
  • Is the work seasonal, casual, full-time?
  • What skills and experience are required for this job?

These questions need to be answered to help you make an informed decision. Without this information, you may find yourself in an occupation that doesn’t suit your interests, values, or lifestyle. Exploring occupations and researching industries may help you discover other interest areas and opportunities you had not even considered.

Where to Look...

You might want to use the Occupational Research Chart to help you find the information you need.

You can see detailed information on a variety of careers in our Search Job Profiles section.  It is important to research the labour market where you want to work, so that you are aware of the opportunities, outlooks, and employment trends in that area. Jobs that may be readily available in one part of the province, such as Halifax, may not exist in other regions, such as Cape Breton.  You can also compare occupations using our Compare Occupations feature.

Our Labour Market Information section can help provide you with the information you need.

Research the employers in the area to find out who is hiring employees in the occupations you are interested in and what skills and abilities they are seeking. If you know what employers are looking for, you can better prepare your “marketing tools” for your job search – your résumé, cover letter, interview, etc.

You may know of only one job that uses your skills and interests, but there could actually be several others you had never considered.  Finding out what employment or business opportunities are available where you live – or areas where you are willing to work – will help you decide on the best career path for you.  If you discover that the opportunities for employment or markets are low, you may want to explore other options.  Occupational research and labour market information will help you see the bigger picture.

The Occupation Comparison Chart can help you keep track of your research.

Once you have a better understanding of the labour market environment, and ‘what’s out there’, you will be ready to make a more informed career decision by moving on to

Step 3 - Make an Informed Decision - Assess your Idea.