Are you dissatisfied with your career and want to make a change? Did you recently lose your job due to a layoff and want to pursue a new career? The first step to making such a shift is to identify potential careers to pursue. There are many resources available to assist you with this process, including working with a career development professional. For you do-it-yourself types, here are a few of my favorite resources for finding a fulfilling career:
- What Color Is Your Parachute? 2011: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
- Occupational Outlook Handbook (online version)
- I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It
- Career Briefs
Once you've narrowed in on a few potential careers, you will want to explore the following:
- Nature of the work - What does the day in the life of a person doing this job entail? What is the work environment (hours, stress level, travel required, level of autonomy, etc.) Meet with professionals already working in your desired professional and get the inside scoop on what the job entails. Explore both the pros and cons before committing to the new career. You're investing time and money in this change so make sure it is one that you can live with for the long-term.
- Training and other qualifications needed - Do you have transferable skills or will you need additional education or credentials? If you need training, what will be the cost? Does your state require special licensing or qualifications (example: most states require a license to be an aesthetician). What are the costs associated with licensing or credentialing? Some careers, such as Pharmacist and Registered Dietician require college degrees in the specialty along with an internship. You must consider this when calculating the financial aspect of your career change.
- Job outlook - Is there high demand for people in this role? What are the future growth prospects for jobs in this arena? you want to avoid pursuing a career with low growth or one that could become obsolete; both situations could force you to make an other career change in the near future.
- Earnings and advancement - Money isn't everything but your new career must be able to support your financial needs. How much can you realistically make in the first few years of your career shift? Research the average salary + bonus for the early years to determine if you can live off these earnings. Here are a few resources for determining earnings:
Are you considering a career shift? If so, please use the comments box to share your ideas, questions and suggested resources with fellow readers.