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What You Should Know About Making a Major Career Change

Have you been considering a career change? Many workers seek a change but get discouraged by the realities of what it takes. Here are the factors that make a difference in successful career change and hopeful wishing.

First, career change takes time.

If you’re working 70 hours a week and you have any kind of personal life, work on finding ways to get more time in a day and a week. You need to be able to attend professional meetings, network and go on interviews.

Some career Resume whisperer changers need have all the time they need. They just need to manage what they have. They need to set priorities and create systems to deal with overwhelm.

Second, most people manage to change careers without paying for a career counselor or career coach.

You will benefit from a coach when you

– feel isolated and don’t have a sounding board or confidante.

– feel confused about what you’ve been reading

– can’t seem to get going on your goals – face a tough decision and need a sounding board.

However, I don’t recommend turning to friends and family when you need career advice. They will be biased and frankly they just don’t know how career change works. Their advice will be well-intentioned but very often you get sent on needless, time-consuming detours.

Third, if you choose a coach, don’t expect to get a quick answer from career tests. If you’ve been working more than a few years, the tests will show you are very well suited to the career you have now. Focus on creating a game plan, not answering questions.

Fourth, forget everything you’ve read about the traditional way to change careers. You may have been advised to identify your strengths, find career fields that match your strengths and then go find a job in one of those fields.

The truth is that every field uses a variety of strengths – and often the most important quality for success isn’t obvious to outsiders. Most people find career change by a course of what I call planning for serendipity: exploring, finding a new path and being open to what crosses your path.

Finally, look at your environment outside your career. If you feel depressed or anxious, a career change may not be the answer. If your family life feels strained, your career may be suffering along the way.

Of course the reverse is also true. I’ve seen people turn their lives around when they change careers. They feel confident, find new friends and even enjoy their hobbies more.

 

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