Transitioning Into a New Career

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stir some in some globalization, add a pinch of legislation, add a scoop full of management cutbacks, sprinkle job dissatisfaction, spread work place injury and then preheat the oven to 365 days of layoffs. What you have is the recipe for a career transition.

With the threat of job layoffs, company cutbacks, workplace injuries, and job dissatisfaction, now is the time to start thinking of your future. Whether you have the free will to do so or it’s as a result of “forced change” due to workplace injury or layoff - It’s never too late to start over in life. 

Every idea can be best realized through a strategic plan. Planning a new career is no different.  A good place to start is by asking loved ones, friends, co-workers and career coaches what they perceive as your strengths and weaknesses.  Taking that advice and incorporating an honest self-assessment of what you are good at and what you need improvement on is key to being successful when transitioning into a new career. The key word is honesty.

This brings me to my next point which is self-improvement and marketability.  One way this can be achieved through education.  Education can assist you in obtaining the solid background needed for your new career and allow you to be more marketable. 

Network! Network!! Network!!  It pays to use old acquaintances, co-workers, clubs, associations and social media to reach out to old or new contacts in order to enquire about a particular field that you are interested transitioning into.  You can obtain information about what it’s really like to be in that career, get an idea of the different opportunities, what and if there are common struggles and hopefully even some insight as to what the salary range is like.  It pays to do the research in order to avoid headaches at a later date.

Consider using community resources that specialize in assisting individuals with their career plan – including writing a resume.  Remember, before meeting you, a potential employer uses your resume to form an opinion of you so do not take it lightly.  Also take the time to adjust and clean up your social media files.  It is a fact that 86 percent of recruiters review candidates’ social network profiles – whether or not the candidates have shared those links.  Ensure that you do not have any inappropriate “party” pictures as 47 percent of recruiters respond negatively to pictures of alcohol consumption.  If you’re looking into a new career, start by cleaning up your old image.

We are in an era where it is uncommon to find individuals that work at the same place for more than five years -- just look around your current workplace.  Making a transition in your career is exciting and can be very rewarding, just keep in mind that in order to be successful you will need to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, consider continuing education, network and update your resume, including the use of social media.  If you are serious about your transition, then you will need to take serious steps to get there.  Good luck!

(Thanks to our guest blogger for the submission!)


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