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Friday, March 2, 2012

Career Development: When You Need A Change

Prepare for the Challenge

There are many reasons why people have felt the need to consider changing careers. According to The Career Coward’s Guide to Changing Careers by Katy Piotrowski, 80% of people are unhappy in their current field and desire a more rewarding career.

Or maybe a life situation may create a need to work from home, such as giving birth or tending to the needs of an ill family member. For whatever reason you feel the desire to change careers, you will probably discover that a huge challenge awaits you.

Not only will you more than likely require a little more education, but you will also need some patience as a career transition takes time. It’s normal to be confused, angry and frustrated if you are making a career change because you lost your present job, was laid off or some other unpleasant experience.

Part of the stress may come with the discovery that you may have to endure a temporary reduction in salary as you build a good reputation with your new boss or clients. It’s important to outline for yourself some specific career goals in this regard, so that you will be able to see and note progress as each milestone is met.

Discover Your Skills

To begin with, it’s a good idea to take some time and assess your present talents, skills and abilities that might not be easily recognizable. For example, in your present position, have you become known as a good listener or advisor? Do you enjoy doing research and documenting it? Have you found yourself to be especially creative, resourceful or innovative?

With a little effort and training, you might find that you would enjoy becoming a counselor, consultant, writer or designer. With the appropriate choice of wording included in a resume, these present strengths and skills could easily lead into a broad range of career opportunities. Keep focused and realize that the career possibilities are endless with just a little bit of forethought, good preparation and patience as you make a career transition.

Research Your Options

After a personal assessment, you may discover a career choice that interests you. At this point, take the initiative to do some extensive research on the subject. Check out the many options for online training or other forms of strengthening and sharpening your present skills. One good online resource to consider investigating is dol.gov (Department of Labor).

This website offers extensive insight into the background of particular fields, the education required to enter this field, salary expectations and the general experience needed in order to be hired.

Before applying for a job in the field you have chosen, make sure that your skills are a close match to the job requirements. For example, if the job requires ten skills and you possess at least seven of the ten, then you are probably a pretty good match for this position.

When you have been offered an interview, prepare well for it. Become familiar with the terminology used in this field and it’s a good idea if possible to prepare a sample of work that fits this field. This alternative approach is much more powerful than simply asking for a chance to prove your abilities.

Be Patient as it All Comes Together

Try your best to stay positive and confident as your career transition evolves, understanding that promotions and raises with come with hard work and a proven track record of abilities. The fact that you came from a different career background will only be an asset as you integrate all these skills together into your new field.

You may wish to continue to explore opportunities for training or certifications in this new field as part of your career development plan. Don’t worry, with a little initiative, you will more than likely exceed your salary expectations and successfully reach your career goals.

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