• Insights to Career Change

    The problem: You feel stuck in your job. Fear not, you have company. “Change is ubiquitous in most facets of our lives . . . you will likely change jobs more often than you might predict,” says Robert C. Pozen, the former president of Fidelity Investments.

    In his Harvard Business Review Blog Network post, “Embrace Change, But Still Stand for Something,” he cites a Bureau of Labor Statistics study. Among the youngest baby boomers, the average person made a job switch every 2.5 years between the ages of 18 and 46. And most of us will probably work past age 46.

    What if it’s not just your job you want to change—but your entire career direction? We are living longer and 30-plus years of performing the same work might be a bit much for some of us. The good news is that with the Internet at our fingertips, globalization, and the 24/7 work cycle, opportunities to switch careers are readily available.

    That doesn’t mean it’s easy to jump career tracks. Be sure to examine your motives and aspirations, because a career change is likely going to take some serious thought. First, make sure the new career you have in mind is a good fit. Consider doing a personal inventory to discover more about yourself. What are your strengths? What gives you a sense of meaning and purpose? Check out at least a few of the career and personality tests available.

    Many jobs require additional certification or even an additional college degree. For example, if an accountant wants to become a financial analyst, he or she will need to earn a chartered financial analyst (CFA) certification. Perhaps a chef has decided to embark on a career in fire sciences. There are degrees to help obtain the necessary knowledge to enter this competitive field. Or perhaps a salesperson wants to enter the digital marketing field. It is likely they will need additional information technology training and experience.

    To get an idea of what it will take to get a job in your new career path, look up job listings. Make a list of the kind of education and experience employers are looking for.

    You’ll also need to educate yourself about the hours and salary ranges offered in your new line of desired work. Do they fit in with your personal and financial goals? Don’t forget to seek out relevant books and blogs to help you refine your new career choice.

    Because it can be difficult to find work for which you have little or no experience, you may also want to consider volunteering. Offer your time gratis for a cause you care about. Not only can this provide you with experience you can list on your resume, but you may get the chance to meet valuable contacts as well.

    In the meantime, start networking. Join a professional group related to your new career path. Find members of the organization with jobs you think are interesting and ask them for an informational interview over a cup of coffee.

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    And if you are considering pursuing higher education we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University’s programs and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.

    It is important to note that certain career paths are growing and our degrees are designed to strengthen your knowledge and prepare our students to advance their careers. But Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Several factors specific to a student’s or alumni’s backgrounds and actions, as well as economic and job conditions, affect employment. Also, keep in mind that national long-term projections covered in articles may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.


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