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Don’t Freak! How to Change Careers

Today’s employment world is vastly different than before. There are plenty of new industries and job positions that just didn’t exist before. This huge sea of options can seem like a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. Many people choose a path and later find it simply isn’t the right one. Then they are left wondering: is it too late to change direction?

In the past, many people followed their parents’ footsteps and entered into the family business or at least a similar line of work. There was a sense of comfort in this. While there may be some people who found this way of employment to be convenient, there surely were people who wanted to reach beyond convenient choices.

I’ve seen it and I’m sure you have too. The recent grad who majored in journalism who now is far removed from the media; or the biology student who now works retail as a manager. Many people don’t end up in the exact role or industry he or she went to school for. Although this may seem disheartening, one could also see it as a positive. Nothing is forever, and that goes for careers, too.

Changing careers, drastically or slightly, is possible – though daunting – for most people. Here are some tips and aspects to take into consideration:

1. First, figure out of if you need a career change or a job. Some people think they hate the career they’re in because they hate their current job. There are ways to change jobs without having to drastically change careers.

2. When choosing a new career, take into consideration other aspects besides money. Use both methodical and unquantifiable ways to weigh your options. Write a list activities that make you happy and see if there are any careers that seem related.

3. Interview colleges, friends, family, and even acquaintances to learn more about different industries and careers. People who have already been through the process may have valuable insight on important things you need to know.

4. Make a list of your current skills and talents to see if they can be applied to your new career. Although many people feel like a career change is like starting all over, that isn’t true! You probably have many skills that may prove helpful in many fields and industries. Your previous job experience still counts for something.

5. Research new skills that are needed for the career change. A good way to start is to look at some job postings for positions you are interested in. You can use these requirements to create a timeline or a to-do list for your upcoming career transition.

Although a career change may seem intimidating, I also find it very exciting! Change is good and it’s important to learn new skills throughout your entire life. Many people go through a career change, sometimes multiple ones, throughout their lifetime. So if you’re feeling the itch for something new, I say go for it, but also take the time to plan it out.

Good luck!



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