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Career Change

Career Change

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Published by: s.sheki on Aug 19, 2009
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09/28/2010

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The 9-Step Plan to Career Change
-
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D
How does it happen? Perhaps you just begin to lose interest. Perhaps you find something that interests you more.Perhaps your company is downsizing. These are just some of the numerous reasons people find themselves onthat precipitous cliff looking back on their career just as the dirt begins to crumble beneath them.Are you facing thatcareer changeplunge? Do you wish you were? Take it slowly and make sure what you really want to do is change careers. Thenuse this 10-step plan, and you will be on much more sure footing -- and on a path toward career change success.Finally, remember that career change is a natural life progression; most studies show that the average job-seekerwill change careers
(not jobs)
several times over the course of his or her lifetime.
Step 1: Assessment of Likes and Dislikes.
A lot of people change careers because they dislike their job, theirboss, their company. So, identifying the dislikes is often the easier part of this step; however, you will not knowwhat direction to change your career unless you examine your likes. What do you really like doing when you're atwork, when you're at home - in your spare time. What excites you and energizes you? What's your passion? If you're really unsure, consider taking one of more of thesecareer assessments.The key is spending some time rediscovering yourself -- and using your self-assessment to direct your newcareer search
Step 2: Researching New Careers.
Once you've discovered (or rediscovered) your passion, spend some timeresearching the types of careers that center around your passions. Don't worry if you're feeling a bit unsure orinsecure -- it's a natural part of the career change process. How much research you do also partly depends onhow much of a change you're making; for example, changing from a teacher to a corporate trainer versusswitching from a nurse to aWeb designer.You can find some great career information and a skills-matchingservice atO*NET Online from the U.S. Department of Labor and basic job informationfrom the U.S. Bureau of  Labor Statistics'Occupational Outlook Handbook.Here are some other greatCareer Exploration Resources.
Step 3: Transferable Skills.
Leverage some of your current skills and experiences to your new career. Thereare many skills (such as communications, leadership, planning, and others) that are transferable and applicableto what you want to do in yournew career. You may be surprised to see that you already have a solid amount of experience for your new career. Read more:Strategic Portrayal of Transferable Skills is a Vital Job-searchTechnique.
Step 4: Training and Education.
You may find it necessary to update your skills and broaden your knowledge.
Take it slowly.
If the skill you need to learn is one you could use in your current job, see if your current employerwould be willing to pick up the tab.
 And start slowly.
Take a course or two to ensure you really like the subjectmatter. If you are going for a new degree or certification, make sure you check the accreditation of the school,and get some information about placement successes. Check out thesecollege planning resources.
Step 5: Networking.
One of the real keys to successfully changing careers will be your networking abilities. People in your network may be able to give you job leads, offer you advice and information about a particularcompany or industry, and introduce you to others so that you can expand your network. Even if you don't thinkyou already have a network, you probably do - consider colleagues, friends, and family members. You canbroaden your network through joining professional organizations in your new field and contacting alumni fromyour college who are working in the field you want to enter. A key tool of networking is conductinginformationalinterviews. 
Step 6: Gaining Experience.
Remember that, in a sense, you are starting your career again from square one.Obtaining apart-time jobor volunteering in your new career field not only can solidify your decision, but give youmuch needed experience in your new career. You might also want to consider temping in your new field. Workweekends, nights, whatever it takes to gain the experience.
Step 7: Find a Mentor.
Changing careers is a major life decision that can get overwhelming at times. Find amentor who can help you through the rough patches. Your mentor may also be able to help you by takingadvantage of his or her network. A mentor doesn't have to be a highly placed individual, though the morepowerful the mentor, the more success you may have in using that power to your advantage.
Step 8: Changing In or Out.
Some people change careers, but never change employers. Unfortunately, onlythe very progressive employers recognize that once happy employees can be happy and productive again - in adifferent capacity. It's more than likely that you will need to switch employers to change fields, but don't overlookyour currentemployer.Remember not to start asking about a job switch until you are completely ready to do so.
Step 9: Be Flexible.
You'll need to be flexible about nearly everything - from your employment status torelocation and salary. Set positive goals for yourself, but expect setbacks and change - and don't let these thingsget you down. Besides totally new careers, you might also consider a lateral move that could serve as a
 
springboard for a bigger career change. You might also consider starting your own business or consulting as otheravenues.
Career Change Ideas - 7 Ways to Find OutWhat You Really Want to Do
-
ByCherry Douglas You know, it is the lack of career change ideas that seems to keep many would-be career changers stuck.One of the things that clients often say to me is:I know I want to change careers, to do something different, but I just don't know what I want to do instead.The problem is they are stuck in a habitual pattern of boxed-in thinking that prevents them from seeing thewealth of possibilities that are out there.Would you like some tips to help you get out of that place and to help you to generate a range of new careerideas to explore? Then read on.
Tip 1 - Forget job titles
 Job titles really inhibit your thinking. If I asked you to list all the jobs you could think of, you might come up witha couple of hundred before you ran dry. In reality there are
thousands
of jobs out there that you would neveridentify under your own steam, so forget the job title and focus instead on the key themes that are important foryou in a job. What do you want your dream job to involve?
Tip 2 - List what you
don't 
want to do
 This is often quite easy to do if you are in a job you hate and it can be a very useful exercise. It helps you tofocus on the aspects of a job that really drive you nuts and then also identify those that are annoying in yourcurrent job but actually you'd be prepared to put up with to some degree in a different situation. When youidentify something as a no-no, ask if it would always be no under all circumstances. This will help you to avoidrejecting jobs in a knee-jerk way because they share similarities with your current role.
Tip 3 - List what you think you
 should 
want to do
 What do you think your career
should 
look like? What pressure are you putting on yourself to confirm to certainbenchmarks (eg I must be earning a certain salary, I should be in a professional role, it must be something thatother people will respect and admire me for). Just check with yourself whose rules you are following here. Whoexactly says that your career must look like this? Is this really what
you
want or what other people say youshould aspire to?
Tip 4 - List what you would do if anything were possible
 Yes, you are allowed to take the brakes off here and create a big dream. Forget the constraints you put onyourself, wherever they come from. If your fairy godmother arrived to take you to the ball, what job or careerwould you ask her to line up for you as part of the deal?
Tip 5 - List what you would do if you gave yourself permission to say that you want it
 So often, we limit the possibilities in our lives because we just don't allow ourselves to want something. Maybeyou want to earn lots of money - but that seems too greedy. Maybe you want to have an easy, quiet job - butthat seems too lazy. Maybe you want to set up your own business - but you can't because you have to thinkabout so many other people in your life first. What do you need to give yourself permission to want to do?
Tip 6 - Reinvent yourself 
 If you could rewind the tape on your life and re-run it, what would you do? If you could dump all the stuff, therules, the history that you have gathered on your journey through life to this point and travel light without thebaggage, where would your journey take you? What would the new you look like and what work would this newperson be doing? What does this tell you about what would really inspire you?
Tip 7 - Think big and think small
 Your new career does not have to be something world changing and grand. If you want to change the world,great! Go ahead and build your new career around this big vision. But if you feel drawn to operating on a morelocal scale, that's fine too. Small changes can be just as transforming for your career and your life as big ones, sodon't be fooled into thinking that bigger is necessarily better. Career change success is about finding what feelsright for you.So take some time to think about your career change with these 7 tips in mind - and by time I mean days,weeks, maybe even months if necessary. Changing career is a big step, so allow yourself the time and space toreally think it through.

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