Career Change Advice
Now that you have started your journey, it's time for some practical career change advice.
You will need a road map to guide you. Remember that others have done it regardless of their age or situation - and you can too!
One question to ask yourself: What is the primary reason for changing careers at this point and time? Have you recently lost your job? Since the focus of this website is from job loss to career change, you most likely found it because of that reason. One point I want to make - job loss should not be your only motivation.
What else is motivating you to seek a new career? Most often we desperately want a change from whatever work we have been doing up until now. And job loss is the perfect reason to pursue new dreams!
A more practical reason may be because of the job market. You may be seeking career change advice because your most recent line of work has very few openings, even with your experience. I worked for many years as a mortgage processor until the mortgage and banking crisis eliminated thousands of jobs. If you need to change careers and also have a deep desire for something new, then that is the perfect storm! You have double the motivation needed for a career change opportunity.
Sometimes we focus on all the reasons why something won't work. One of the most common concern is based on age. If you are over 50, or even in your 40's, you may be worried about changing careers at this point. Let me ease your concerns - I am also in that age group and it can be done! See this section on
midlife career change
for special career change advice pertaining to this age group.
I found an excellent article on the topic of unexpected job loss at this
free career site.
Mike has several helpful articles pertaining to finding new careers and job searching, and also offers free resume templates.
What if you desperately want to change careers but have no idea what to do next?
Most of us are start out in this category! So seeking career change advice is even more important. We will discuss this further in the career exploration section, but I think it needs to be brought up now as well.
We talked about making a list of possibilities in the section The Transition. If you haven't done so, this is the place to start. Write down any idea that interests you.
Start by writing down everything that you like to do. Include any hobbies and pastimes that you enjoy. Don't worry at this point about how you would earn a living from them - just write them down. This exercise will get your imagination started. Look for a pattern and get a feel for the kind of occupation you might be suited for. For instance - if most of the items on your list are solitary pursuits like reading, taking long walks, and gardening - then you would be happiest in a field where you don't have a lot of customer contact. But if you are a social butterfly and like to talk to people, then consider a career with a lot of customer or client interaction.
If you still need some brainstorming help, then consider taking a career change test. These tests are often offered on major job board websites. Use it as a tool, but keep in mind that you know yourself best. It is also a good idea to ask close friends or family members (supportive people only!) what they think you are good at. They will often be able to give you career change advice by offering insight that you might be unable to see.
Still need more inspiration? Check out this very valuable resource for
Finding your true calling.
Work on creating a good resume. This is one of the more important steps needed to move forward. Even if you're not sure yet what your new career path will be, you need to have this in hand. If you haven't created a resume on your own for some time - get professional help. See this section for
career change resume writing
for more ideas on the subject.
If you have narrowed down your choices and decided on a new career path - Here is some practical career change advice:
- Have a good professional looking resume and cover letter.
- Research your chosen field - in depth!
- Determine what
career change education
you may need.
- Talk to people in your field. Ask for informational interviews.
- Consider volunteer work to get experience.
- Take a step each day - no matter how small!
What about working for yourself - either at a self employed job or starting your own business? We will discuss this more in the Career Exploration section of this website - but basically the same above steps apply. You will still need to research and get a feel for the type of work you have chosen.
Follow your passion and you will be well on your way to financial freedom!
"To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun?"--Katharine Graham
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