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onetI often work with Career Coaching clients who have worked years (sometimes even decades) in a certain position, but want to shift into a new career – they’re just not exactly sure what that career should be.

The question then becomes, what kind of job matches your talents and passions? And beyond that it gets even trickier – what skills and experience do you have from your previous career that apply or give you unique value as you pursue this new career?

This is something I specialize in with my clients. But there are online tools I recommend and utilize in doing so, one of which is O*NET Online, which offers various tools for career exploration and job analysis. I’ve used O*NET Online for a while now, and I’m pleased with it’s functionality.

This article does a great job of breaking O*NET Online down better, and I’ve copied a section from the article with very specific insight into how it works below. Let me know how it works for you!


At onetonline.org, click on “Find Occupations.” There are many options here, but take one of the jobs you listed while brainstorming and enter it under “Keyword or O*NET-SOC Code.”

For example, you can enter “astronaut.” The next screen will show all related occupations listed by relevance. Once you click on a title, you will have a wealth of information including tasks, tools used in this job, abilities, education requirements, work styles, work values and wage information. Something may spark your interest from the related occupations, and you can click on any of those titles and instantly get specific details about those careers.

You can always go back to the “Find Occupations” page and search by career clusters, industries or job zones, too. The second way to explore careers is to search for occupations that align with your current experience, knowledge and education. On the main page, onetonline.org, click on “Advanced Search.” Under “Tools & Technology,” if you have experience working with machines, equipment, tools, or software, you can enter that information here. For example, if you worked with aircraft engines before, you can enter “aircraft engines” and see all the categories and occupations that match your search. If you click on an occupation, you will get lots of valuable information.

From the “Advanced Search” page, you can also select the “Skills Search” option. This will allow you to customize a list of the skills you have acquired in six general categories, and the system will match your skills list with occupations requiring those same skills.