Whether we like it or not, everyone will be changing careers. The world of work is changing so rapidly and the needs of businesses are quite different from what they used to be. The job you used to do doesn’t exist any longer (well, it might, but a different company will define it differently).
It doesn’t matter if you are unemployed, employed, under-employed, just graduated, just retired…every one faces the same challenge-defining what you want to do next.
This takes a lot of research, informational meetings and sometimes time. In order to make the best use of your time, sit down and assess what you liked doing best in you life.
- When you were happiest, what were you doing. And why were you happy?
- When you were successful, what were you doing. And how would you define successful?
This is only the tip of the iceberg of self assessment. Learn about what company culture feels best for you, what type of leadership you like…the list goes on and on. If you haven’t yet sat down with a copy of “What Color Is Your Parachute” you may want to. There are tons of exercises to get you to the point of clarity or closer to it.
Now begin to research occupations that use those skills and abilities you most enjoyed using. If that doesn’t work, then try searching for companies that would be a fit with what you are looking for culturally. You could also research Vault to find top 100 companies and the top 100 in your city/area.
You can even use LinkedIn to do research!
Now begin talking. Ask people you know to provide advice, suggestions, feedback, names that will take you one step closer to truly knowing some of the answers.
When truly changing industries or occupations, you will want to be able to describe all the similar skills you have. You’ll need to bridge the gap so that the employer will see the relationship between what they are looking for and what you can do. How well you bridge this gap will determine your success. That is why talking to people is so important. It will help you understand how to present your skills convincingly. Employers do not like to hear “…but I am willing to learn”. It frightens them.
Enter into the search fairly certain how your skills are a match for the type of work you are looking in. This will help with your confidence level too.
Here are some other posts on Changing Careers you might find helpful:
Life at Work