According ot Dan Schwabel, between ages 18 and 50, the average person will hold 12 jobs and almost half of them may be before age 25. If you are contemplated a change in employment, read these 7 tips to speed you on your way.
- Before you leap into a new career or move your current one to a new company, spend some time thinking about what you want in the new position. How do you want to spend your day? What problems do you want to solve? What challenges you? Which skills do you want to use? Who do you want to work with-what kind of people help you perform optimally? Where to you thrive, what environment and elements of company culture nurture your gifts? Answer these questions to help you make the best career-promoting decisions.
- Create a career plan, frame the trajectory of you working life using the information generated by step one. You need to have a goal in order to select the path most likely to move you toward it. Not knowing where you are going is the biggest mistake you can make. The goal may be revised many times as doors close and windows open through no action of yours. Think of the job categories that no longer exist and those that have sprung up in the last years. To be able to evaluate new options you must have some standards to compare them to.
- Expand your knowledge of what is out there, where the opportunities are. Don’t limit yourself to the kinds of jobs you’ve held or the fields of endeavor you already know. Great ways to learn about new kinds of work are through networking and getting to know lots of new people. Join something; connect with professional groups; use LinkedIn to expand your horizons. Ask for informational interviews; ask to shadow someone whose job seems interesting. Read newspapers and magazines; read professional journals in fields that interest you. Attend professional organization meetings, conferences, presentations. Volunteer. Think outside the box you are in!
- Before you settle on a new direction, research the job market and salary. Be certain that there are openings to be filled. If you don’t have all of the sills required, consider the time and expense or re-tooling and prepare to show how your current experiences have positioned you to slip seamlessly into the new role.
- Financial planning for the transition is necessary. You may need to support yourself without income for a short while. Training may be necessary and not all companies pay full salary during this period. Have some extra funds so that you aren’t forced to take the highest paying (but not necessarily the most rewarding) job or the first one offered. Sometimes you will need to accept a lower starting salary or fewer benefits until you’ve proven your value.
- Don’t assume that in order to get the job you want you will need another degree or job specific skills. Many companies prefer to train new hires themselves. Others will pay for employees to go back to school. Where it appears that only MBAs will be interviewed, look for other positions that do the same work but without the degree requirement from the start. Most professionals know that a degree gives good backgrounding and exposure, but the real learning is done on the job.
- Some DONTs and DOs. Don’t wait before you have a new job. Don’t neglect networking. Don’t skip the research into yourself and potential careers. Don’t give up too quickly. Do begin to consider a move when you aren’t growing in your present role or when you can see that the fit isn’t a good one. Do draw on strengths developed in previous positions. Do find a mentor or support team. Do adjust your resume to reflect the new position or career field.
I’m available to help with your career journey. Lets get together soon! firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-212-6679.