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Before you Take the Leap

A change in career can be necessitated by external factors that may affect an entire industry; such as hand-operated looms giving way to machine operated ones, leaving an entire workforce skilled in hand looms unemployed. Career changes are also the result of an inner calling or the desire to pursue a particular vocation. Or you may think of a career change if you have been laid off and no longer wish to continue with the same work.

Why Think of Changing?

If you were still holding a job when you started to think about a career change seriously, it would help to explore the reasons in some detail before you embark on pursuing the change.
1.Were you dissatisfied with the nature of your work?
2.Was the workplace, the people, or the ambience of your office bothering you?
3.Were there growth-related matters that were not being resolved, such as promotions or raises you felt you were not receiving?

Workplace issues can be unsettling and drive you to considering a change. On closer inspection however, you will see that these issues can be resolved without you undertaking an entire career overhaul.

Prepare a Focused Resume

If you have decided that changing you career will work best for you, list down attributes that will help you in your career change. For example, if you are music teacher with a desire to work in sales, you can list persuasive communication skills as one of your assets. Sit down with a paper and pencil if needed and list down the attributes you possess that will help you with a sales career.

Professional Skills

One of the best ways to determine your transferable skills is to write them down. List attributes such as educational qualifications, including any continued learning courses that you may have taken. These can include short-term courses such as delivering first aid or even a short course in teaching. Do not overlook anything that you may have learnt aside from your core education and profile. This is especially important when considering a career change because you don’t know which of your skills will serve you well in the new job.

Discuss Ideas

Discuss your thoughts about changing your career with your family and friends. If you are no longer working, but are on amiable terms with your ex-boss, supervisor, or a senior you have worked with, take their help to find out more about your strengths and areas of expertise. They can also help you determine your transferable skills and abilities that will help you in your next career.

Transferable Skills

Once you have determined that you possess not only the drive to change your career, but also the ability to make a successful transition, start noting down your transferable skills. If needed, list down the job requirements as well; this will show you at a glance how best you can tailor your abilities and present them in your resume and cover letter to match job and career requirements.

Changes Required in Your Professional Profile

List out the professional changes that constitute the minimum requirement for the new job before you make the decisive leap. Compare these with your profile and note down any significant shortcomings on your resume that might hamper your chances. For instance, does the new job require you to have a basic knowledge of computers? If you need to take up additional qualifications, now might be the right time to do it. Such focused learning not only makes your candidacy more attractive, it also indicates that you are determined about investing in the new career ahead.

A. Harrison Barnes is the founder and CEO of CareerMission, the parent company of more than 90 job-search websites, employment services, recruiting firms and student loan companies. CareerMission (originally Juriscape) employs several hundred employees in 14 offices throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. These companies were literally started from Harrison’s garage several years ago after Harrison quit his job.

Harrison resides in Malibu, California. He is a sought-after career advice guru and writes articles relating to the legal community. Harrison is an active philanthropist and advocate for people reaching their full potential in their careers. Given his passion for job seekers and them reaching their full ability, Harrison recently started offering a limited number of coaching engagements to job seekers.

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