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To change or not to change careers?


If you happen to be in a position to answer this question, then this article will help you make the best choices for your career and your life.

Perhaps you were caught up in the company's downsizing, or maybe you are no longer motivated by your job tasks, or perhaps management changes are giving you the blues.  Whatever the reason, if you've come to the conclusion that you'd like to pursue a new career, following are critical points to keep in mind to help you in your journey:

1- Conduct a thorough self-assessment of your strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, values, and most importantly, your passions.  Whether your career change is due to choice or downsizing, this is an opportunity to ensure you move to a new career with vigor, enthusiasm, and motivation.  When you understand your strengths and passions, you can then set out to build a career around them.

2- Write down a list of your transferable skills.  Examples would be communication (oral and written), teamwork, employee relations, problem solving, negotiation, marketing, customer service, etc.  The skills you learned in your previous job may very well be transferable to the new career you choose.

3- Stay current on your network of contacts.  Keep in touch with the people you've met along the way in your current career.  These same individuals may be the key to your next career opportunity.  Or they may be able to offer value leads and recommendations to companies looking to hire in your area of interest.

4- Working with a mentor is a great way to hone your skills and prepare for your new career.  A mentor or life coach can help you assess your current skills and put a plan in place to gain the necessary training for skills you may need in the new career.  There are many resources to gain the experience you need without spending a lot of money.

5- Understand the basics of job hunting.  If it's been awhile since you've conducted an interview, ask your mentor (or a friend) to help you with a mock interview.  There are on-line resources to help you prepare for those critical inevitable interview questions.  Also ensure your resume is current, accomplishments based, and learn the basic of preparing a job portfolio.

6- Be patient and flexible.  Anything worth having is worth working for, and this is no different.  Don't get discouraged because you can't quickly find what you want.   Designing a career doesn't happen overnight, and this is, unfortunately, how most people end up in jobs that are not fulfilling by jumping too soon due to impatience.  Taking a job that you don't like just to get the bills paid will, undoubtedly, result in a miserable life further down the road.  It's worth it in the long run to take the necessary time to research, prepare yourself, and find the best career that suits your skill set.

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C. Holloway Hill Enterprises