Ask Coach J: 9-Step Plan To A New Career (1968 hits)
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average U.S. worker changes careers 11 times during his or her lifetime. People change jobs to find better opportunities, higher salary, to start over, or to find happiness whatever the case people are not as likely to stay on-the-job for 20-30 years for retirement. The sluggish economy is forcing workers to reconsider their careers and become more innovative in creating opportunities. Most college students decide their college major at the age of 18. At this age students recently graduate from high school and do not have a clue what to expect or gain in career. On the other hand there are some students who have been groom since the age of grade school. In most cases students do not become interested in careers until preparation to graduate from college.
The truth is when selecting a career path it is not the heart and passion that interest’s people; it is banking accounts, parents decisions, the easy way out, student loans, or bills. It is not unusual to find that people become burned out near their late 20s, early 40s, or when they reach mid-life crisis; resulting in pursuant of a new career. New careers often stimulate your purpose, empower you, and promotes self-confidence. The following 9-Step Plan will increase your success in a new career and industry.
1. You must assess your current situation. What do not you like about your current career? What do you like about your current career? Begin to remind yourself the mindset you had when you entered your particular career field? (age, circumstance, and reasoning) Make sure you are very detail regarding your experience what you do not want to experience anymore or what you liked from the experience.
2. Obtain self-awareness- Take a personality test to become clearer of those characteristics that make YOU. There are several sites that offer free test to help you explore the career that will best suit your personality. When a career does not fit your personality you become unhappy, uncertain, and burned out. Therefore, a personality test will help direct your path and put you in a job that best suits you.
3. Research new career path: Once you have discovered or rediscovered your passion; spend a week or two researching the career paths that fit your personality and passion. At this point you may experience a little insecurity and uncertainty- this is normal and expected when experiencing change. You can find career information and skill-matching sources at O*Net Online from the U.S. Department of Labor or basic job information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook handbook.
4. Check your Equipment- I live by the philosophy that every day is a day to learn something new. It may be necessary for you to gain additional knowledge skill and certifications. Do you have a college degree, special certifications or experiences that will set you apart? Do not panic if you are not fully equipped; instead take small steps toward the process. A keynote to paying for your additional credits, certifications, and training necessary for the career stay on your current job and use any benefits for tuition reimbursement and let them take care of the tab. You have invested your time and energy there every day; you do not want to forfeit the opportunity to get free money for school.
5. Be an Exploration Navigator- To become an exploration navigator you must be on the lookout for opportunities everywhere you turn. Find professionals that are already doing what you would love to do. Where do you meet these persons? They are probably lurking in your back door. Begin to ask your closet friends, past or current colleagues, church members. A great networking tool to connect with others is Meetup, a social media outlet that connects people with common interest, professions, and passions. Other social media outlets are Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. There are local chapters of organizations that also host monthly networking events. Develop your schedule to maximize networking events in your community and local areas.
6. Try it before you lose it- Before you leave your current role or positions discover ways to experience the new career field of interest. The mistakes many people have made in their lifetime of career changes is moving too fast and not taking time to position themselves. I encourage you to volunteer, find internships or even ask people who perform the task necessary to work. It would not be a bad idea to even take on a part-time job in the field. Every bit of information you can capture to strengthen your decision to move forward will solidify your career change.
7. Find a Mentor- It can become overwhelming managing change. One of the major changes you will face in life is occurs when you change careers. Finding a mentor is a solution for getting through the pressure and rough times you may experience. Mentors are influential concerning giving advice, helping you to make wiser decisions, and often have an established network of people to share with you. It is encourage to find mentors that wish to establish a mutual relationship, is commit to you, and willing to share honest feedback and information that will help you achieve your goal of obtaining a new career and beyond.
8. Enhance your Interview Skills- The national unemployment rate has been soaring about 9% over the past few years. This number is depressing when it comes to change and finding something new. Opportunity awaits you, be prepared! Dust off your resume’ and update your interviewing skills. Preparation, practice, and positioning are key tools in maximizing the results of becoming the hired candidate.
9. Expect Setbacks: There are challenges to preparing for a new career. You will have several conversations and doubt with yourself. I encourage you to follow your heart and live your dreams. There is only one life to live and it is not advised to live your life sad, depressed, or resentful. Many people want and very few who will. The choice will leave to you; the only requirement is that you take action, be prepared, and willing to welcome change and growth.