So you’re a few years into the yo-pro life and realizing it might be time to figure out your career beyond that first post-college job. Or maybe you’re a fresh grad and looking to make sure your first job is more than just a paycheck. Wherever you are in your career, we’re going to arm you with some tips, tricks and hacks to uncover the industries, companies and roles that will get you to that dream career.

Hack #1: What are you reading?

When you’re scrolling through Twitter, taking a brain-nap on BuzzFeed or consuming your morning news (personally, we love theSkimm and Morning Brew), what are the links that you’re clicking on? What are the topics that you’re curious in learning more about? Whether it’s AI or Kylie Jenner’s new lipstick line, there is probably an industry (and therefore careers!!) built around what you’re reading about. If it is AI, do a quick Google search of the most promising start-ups in that space (we made it easy for you here). If it’s the lipstick line, check out careers in cosmetics at Estee Lauder, Glossier or read this great article from our friends at themuse.

Hack #2: Follow Brands… on LinkedIn.

Yes, this is a thing. During a recent lighthouse “Job Search Strategy” session, one of our lighthouse Insiders, Jen, shared this great #careerhack. Think of a few companies that you might be interested in, follow them on LinkedIn and you’ll start getting regular notifications about the business. These updates will help you:

  • Be aware of new initiatives in the industry and at the company,
  • Get a better sense of the brand personality and company culture to gauge if it’s a good fit, and
  • Keep you in the loop about any potential job openings.

Hack #3: Work backwards

Where do you want to be at the end of your career? Who is someone you admire? That person can be someone famous or someone you know personally. Once you have that person/people in mind, take a look at their LinkedIn and see what kinds of industries and roles they worked in that led them to where they are now. If you notice that most successful VCs start off in Investment Banking or as Founders of successful start-ups, then it might be time to make the leap to Wall Street or start brainstorming the next Facebook. No pressure.

Hack #4: Do some reflecting

Think back to the work experience you have had, whether it be full time jobs or internships, and ask yourself:

  • What did you like?
  • What did you not like?
  • What kinds of projects made the days fly by in a good way?
  • What type of work made you so bored that you took 5+ coffee breaks just to get through or so stressed that you took 5+ Xanaxs to not lose your mind?

If you’re currently applying to jobs, think about:

  • What are the positions where writing the Cover Letter flowed like a chocolate fountain on a Carnival Cruise ship?
  • What are the jobs where you cringed when you opened the “Congrats! We would like to invite you in for an interview” email?

Which job descriptions make you go:

And which ones make you go:

Hack #5: Don’t be too hard on yourself

Knowing what you want is great, but don’t feel like you need to have it all figured out. You’re still early in your career so if you’re getting a good salary, working with smart people that you admire and are given opportunities to grow and develop, you’re off to a great start. Young professionals now changes jobs four times before the age of 32, meaning you’ll have multiple opportunities to try out different industries, learn new skills and continue to explore who you are as a person and professional.

Still not sure what you want to do?

Check out thelighthouse to get career advice from young professionals who were just in your shoes, got to where you want to be and are now here to help you get there, too. Get exposed to different industries and roles by talking to young professionals working across different fields (that you get to choose!). Save yourself hours of internet stalking and consuming company ‘corporate speak’ and instead get the #realdeal insights through one-on-one video sessions with lighthouse Insiders. Find out more here.


-thelighthouse team

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A start-up connecting you to young professionals in the industries you want to be in for personalized career advice and support. We make it easy to be #smart about your career.

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-Article written by Courtney Brand