Thinking of Changing Careers? Here’s How to Get Started.
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By Ford R. Myers, President, Career Potential, LLC: :
If you’re seriously considering making a career change, it will be important
to go through some preliminary “internal exercises” to discover what type of
role would be best for you. Here at Career Potential, LLC, we use at least
seven exercises that are very powerful. These are explained in detail, with
multiple examples, in my book, Get
The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. With
the guidance of a skilled career consultant, these exercises can generate a
high level of clarity, focus and direction.
As a career changer, you would also be well-advised to take a battery
of “formal” career assessments and personality profiles (such as The
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and The
Strong Interest Inventory). These will help you identify new career
options and narrow-down the possibilities to a carefully thought-out list of
initial job choices. Changing careers is a big decision, so it’s wise to
pursue this sort of deliberate, logical process – as opposed to just jumping
impulsively from one career to another.
From these exercises and assessments, you can start to eliminate the “pipe
dreams” and focus on the career paths and work environments that fit best with
your strengths, preferences and experiences.
For example, if you always wanted to be a fighter pilot, but you’ve spent the
last 20 years as an accountant, then maybe going to work as a financial
executive for a major airline headquartered in your city would make more sense
than climbing into a cockpit.
Make your “initial cut” by sitting-down and writing-out a list of possible
careers or jobs that are a realistic fit with what you’ve learned about
yourself. Then brainstorm some related options, perhaps with the help of a
relative, close friend or counselor. Make sure the careers you list are ones
that you feel genuinely attracted to.
Get “market feedback” from former colleagues, associates and professionals who
are in a position to know both your skills and the requirements of your targeted
Researching Careers, Job Categories and Titles
The next step is to research what’s required to enter that field. There are many
great resources you can use to identify appropriate career paths and job roles.
Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes
Occupational Outlook Handbook (US Department of Labor)
Career portals and “job board” web sites
Once you’ve completed your research, if all signs point toward a good fit, then
mobilize your resources, get into action and go after your new career!
Read full article
Career expert and author, Ford R. Myers writes articles providing career help
and advice. These have been featured internationally in hundreds of newspapers,
magazines, and web sites. Below is a sampling, which you may download for free: