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Preparing For Success in Your Career Change

As you move through life, your needs, goals, and interests can change. If you’ve lost your spark for your current career, you may decide that it’s time for a major change in occupation. While this can be a scary process, following these tips and guidelines can help you make a career change successfully and more easily.

Review Your Current Career
First off, you may want to decide if it’s your career or your job that needs changing. If you find that your company or industry holds promise, you may want to consider if there is another position within the company that would be more compatible with your job skills and interests. Don’t be afraid to talk to your boss and to ask around in your company about other available positions. Employers have an investment in their employees, and an employee that expresses the need for growth and more responsibility can be considered an asset.

List Your Skills and Aptitudes
Take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses before making a change. Your list of attributes should consider not only what you think you do well, but also where you have received your accolades in and outside of work. Also, be honest with your list of “needs to improve.”

Assess Your Interests
You should also write down what you enjoy doing in your spare time. Is there any way you can take a hobby and make a career out of it? If you find this process difficult, you can use career assessment tests online or at a college or university. These tests analyze your personality traits, skills, and interests. Some excellent assessment tests include the Meyers-Briggs (personality assessment), the Jackson Vocational Interest Survey (interests), and the Strength Finders Profile (skills and aptitude).

Finding Inspiration
Many successful career changers will tell you they took their passion and turned it into a career. A great book for putting your interests and dreams to work for you is Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want by Barbara Sher. This book will show you strategies for determining your interests and discovering your skills and strengths. It can also help you develop a game plan to achieve concrete results.

Analyze Your Income and Savings
Making a career change can mean a change in income, especially if you’ve decided that you need more education or training. Before moving forward, sit down and analyze the time and money needed to get a degree or certificate in your new career. You need to decide if you’ll be able to continue your current job while attending school to fully determine your monetary situation.

Do Your Homework!
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is an excellent way to learn about different careers and the income potential, expected growth, and training and educational requirements. Research your chosen field by going online, reading trade magazines and testimonials, and talking to those in and around the profession. Volunteer or take a temporary job in your new field of interest. Doing so will allow you the opportunity to decide whether or not your new career is a viable one for you.

Take Your Time
Remember, be honest in your assessments and take time to research carefully. Career changes are a big deal, and we want yours to be successful. Time spent now in preparing for your new career will lend to your success and enjoyment of it later.

Publish date: June 14, 2008