Career Navigation 101
Start by understanding the process of researching and finding a job, and how different demographics may navigate this process differently (ie. Parents, Low-Income Career Changers). How are Job Seekers navigating this process and relevant organizations currently?
To help SANDI Navigators develop new and innovative ways to support job seekers in Nevada, this first module will provide an overview of the full career navigation process.
To complete this module, please do the following:
Worksheet: Career navigation is the general process of understanding yourself, researching possible careers, obtaining the necessary skills through education or experience, applying for the job, and maintaining job performance once in the career.
You have probably seen first-hand that career navigation is lifelong. People change positions within an organization, shift to a related position within the same industry, or change occupations and industries entirely. Whether a job seeker is seeking a first career or a tenth career, the career navigation cycle is the same, and never really stops.
Discussion: Visit the discussion board
Overview: Review the 10-Step SANDI Program Model Handout. Start thinking about the population you serve and how they fit into this 10-step process.
Check out this Career Navigation Infographic from the Nebraska Library Commission to get a lay of the land:
Libraries Already Help!
Looking at this Career Navigation Cycle infographic, you can probably already see several ways the library already helps. Libraries provide access to computers and printers, assistance with navigating job search websites, guidance in learning Microsoft Word or Google docs to write a resume or cover letter, and referrals to relevant support services. During the pandemic, libraries have continually found new and innovative ways to support job seekers.
This assignment aims to ensure one-stop career support for job seekers from all backgrounds. Libraries providing resume assistance do not necessarily feel comfortable talking about understanding personal values, identifying transferable skills, or identifying what a job seeker is missing from the entire career navigation cycle. As is always true with people asking reference questions, sometimes the patron doesn’t know exactly what to ask because they don’t know what is possible in the world of career navigation, to begin with.
The SANDI project aims to turn the library into a Career One-Stop that will provide end-to-end support throughout the Career Navigation Cycle. When library staff lacks a clear understanding of what job seekers need, patrons can leave more confused than they were when they walked in and may not return to the library as an information source.
Library staff will not be providing all services in all areas of the Career Navigation Cycle from Self-Exploration to Career Maintenance, but a basic understanding and ability to navigate the entire process is vital in building a comprehensive Career Navigation Ecosystem with the SANDI Workforce Ecosystem.
Common Job Seeker Personas
Everyone faces different challenges throughout the career navigation cycle, from finding time for self-exploration, to opening doors to previously unknown careers and attaining the proper education to get the job. In order to better provide library services for job seekers, we will use personas to summarize demographics, including who these individuals are, what they want in life, the challenges standing in the way, and the motivation that keeps people going. We will use these personas to guide library service design decisions to ensure we meet real customer needs in the library.
Here are some other common job seeker demographics that come through the library:
All of these people face different challenges and opportunities in the career navigation cycle and must be accounted for when supporting job seekers in your community.
Worksheet: Job Seeker Persona Instructions:
About: Describe the approximate age range, current work status, life stages, income range, relationships status, and general information.
Life Goals: What does this person want in life? A steady income? A happy Family? Human Connection? What are the markers of a good life?
Barriers: What are the challenges standing in the way of a good life?
Motivation: Working towards a goal can take time and not be easy. What keeps this person going through challenges big and small?
Influences: Who shapes this person's decisions? Who has input in this person's beliefs and life choices? Include in-person and virtual forces.
Technology: Which technology tools are essential to this person's life? This will be important when choosing which skills this person needs and how the library will connect for marketing.
How does this persona typically receive career navigating assistance with you? (Pre-SANDI)
What are some of the common challenges you encounter while assisting these personas?
How do you think the 10-step SANDI model will change this for your persona? What challenges do you feel this persona will encounter with SANDI navigating tools?