10 Tips for Changing Career Fields

Thinking about changing career? If so, don't jump blindly into the first opportunity that comes along. Before you do anything else, follow these 10 tips to carefully consider your options:

  1. Assess your current level of job satisfaction (or dissatisfaction). If you are unhappy, why? Is it the company? Your duties? The people with whom you work? Make sure it's the career you are wanting to leave and not the boss.

  2. Evaluate your interests, experience and skills to determine if they are adequately being used. If not, can this be corrected within your current career field, or is a total change necessary?

  3. Make a list of all possible career alternatives based on your desires and skills. Ask for input from friends, family, networking contacts and counselors, and use online resources like the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Handbook.

  4. Narrow that list down to a few career fields that appear to offer the best opportunities based on your interests and qualifications. Make sure the starting salaries they provide will be adequate to meet your needs.

  5. Conduct detailed research on those fields. Read as much as you can about them; try to talk to people who are already working in those fields. What do they like (or dislike) about their jobs?

  6. If possible, observe their working environment firsthand. For example, if you're thinking about becoming a police officer, I strongly suggest you try to do a "ride-along" first (these are sometimes sponsored by local community groups and civic organizations; you can contact your local police department for information).

  7. Find out if there are any volunteer activities you can do to get hands-on experience in the fields you are considering.

  8. Explore training and educational opportunities that would help you build new skills or qualify for opportunities in your chosen new fields.

  9. Based on those exploratory activities, select the one career field from your list that suits you best. Then determine if there are any duties in your current field which you could take on to ease the transition to your new field. For example, if you're an engineer who wants to become a writer, volunteer to write reports, articles, newsletters, etc.

  10. Finally, start seeking employment in your newly chosen field. But unless you have money to spare, don't quit your current job until you have a firm offer for your new one. Changing careers has to be done with forethought!

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Additional Job Interview Q&A; Info

For even more information about job interview questions and how to answer them, consider the "Job Interview Success System."

One of the 5 key components of this system is a 31-page report entitled "How to Give Job-Winning Answers to Interview Questions." In addition to giving more tips and strategies on general answering techniques, it lists 45 of the easiest, toughest, silliest and most common job interview questions as well as how to respond to them.

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