Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Considering a Career Change? Here are 8 Steps to Take

Career changes and transitions can be scary and feel overwhelming, especially if they are forced upon us through a layoff. It's much easier to begin to make that transition for ourselves, and on our own schedule and terms.

If you are contemplating a career change there are steps you can take to ease the transition and help you feel ready to take the plunge.

Here are eight steps to making a career transition:

1. Meet with a career counselor. The first step you might consider is to meet with a career counselor and discuss your training, skills, experience, and interests. The counselor can help you explore the career options that would be most suitable and help you develop a plan to get there.

2. Take a skills or interest assessment. Identifying your skills and interests will help clarify your direction and this can be done with a career counselor or on your own.

3. Job shadow. Once you've identified a job or career area of interest consider spending a few hours job shadowing someone currently working in that field. This will help you get a clearer sense of the job and whether it matches your interests and skills.

4. Research education or certification requirements. Some jobs or careers require you to attain a specific level of education or to have state certification. Find out if you need to supplement your education.
5. Take a class. You might need additional education for certification requirements (see above) or you just might need to update your skills or learn a new technology. If so, consider signing up for a class at your local community college.

6. Online training. There are many opportunities to take free classes online and you might find something to increase your skills as you consider your new career.

7. Seek guidance from a mentor. Talk to someone you trust and get their advice and counsel about your career and possible plans for a change.

8. Network. Work to expand your network of contacts, especially in fields related to those you're considering for your career change.

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