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L.Srikumar Pai
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Thinking of Changing Careers? Here’s How to Get Started.

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By Ford R. Myers, President, Career Potential, LLC: : If you’re seriously considering making a career change, it will be important to go through some preliminary “internal exercises” to discover what type of role would be best for you. Here at Career Potential, LLC, we use at least seven exercises that are very powerful. These are explained in detail, with multiple examples, in my book, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. With the guidance of a skilled career consultant, these exercises can generate a high level of clarity, focus and direction.

As a career changer, you would also be well-advised to take a battery of “formal” career assessments and personality profiles (such as The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and The Strong Interest Inventory). These will help you identify new career options and narrow-down the possibilities to a carefully thought-out list of initial job choices. Changing careers is a big decision, so it’s wise to pursue this sort of deliberate, logical process – as opposed to just jumping impulsively from one career to another.

From these exercises and assessments, you can start to eliminate the “pipe dreams” and focus on the career paths and work environments that fit best with your strengths, preferences and experiences.

For example, if you always wanted to be a fighter pilot, but you’ve spent the last 20 years as an accountant, then maybe going to work as a financial executive for a major airline headquartered in your city would make more sense than climbing into a cockpit.

Make your “initial cut” by sitting-down and writing-out a list of possible careers or jobs that are a realistic fit with what you’ve learned about yourself. Then brainstorm some related options, perhaps with the help of a relative, close friend or counselor. Make sure the careers you list are ones that you feel genuinely attracted to.

Get “market feedback” from former colleagues, associates and professionals who are in a position to know both your skills and the requirements of your targeted industry.

Researching Careers, Job Categories and Titles

The next step is to research what’s required to enter that field. There are many great resources you can use to identify appropriate career paths and job roles. These include:

  • Library research
  • Online databases
  • Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook (US Department of Labor)
  • Career coaches
  • Professional associations
  • Trade publications
  • Universities
  • Career portals and “job board” web sites

Once you’ve completed your research, if all signs point toward a good fit, then mobilize your resources, get into action and go after your new career! Read full article


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More  career articles

Career expert and author, Ford R. Myers writes articles providing career help and advice. These have been featured internationally in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and web sites. Below is a sampling, which you may download for free:



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