Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Change Careers

Before deciding if a career (and not a job) change is best for your at this time, consider the following:

Review what you most dislike about your current career. Make sure that the things you most dislike are not your boss' personality, etc. Make sure that your reasons for wanting the career change are sound and not colored by emotional issues. This may not be easy; is it the career or just some aspect of the job that needs to change? Do you want/need more salary? Changing careers may mean starting all over again. Do a cost/benefits analysis. Evaluate your costs for training/education against the anticipated starting salary in the new career. How long will it take you to see a positive return?

Visualize your "perfect' job. For whom are you working? What kind of a boss do you have? What are you doing? Where are you doing it? When are you doing it...time of day? Why are you doing it? What sense of value do you get? This comes from your work values. Make sure that your work values match those of the considered career. If they do not, and you cannot compromise on at least some, then the considered new careers may not be for you. FOCUS- get crystal clear about your core work values...Would you love this new career so much that you can happily put up with all the "stuff" that comes with it?

Make an action plan. Be realistic. This is WORK!

What are the skills needs in the new career? Do you have at least some of them? Remember that once you begin your new career it will be a shock, and having at least some transferable skills will help.

Research! Target a few people whose careers you admire and interview them. How did they get to where you think you want to be? Volunteer. Can you run "parallel" careers for at least a while? It may take several years until you are established. Look at this as a series of steps.

Do not change careers solely because of financial considerations. Do not do so because of pressure from others. Can you take your present career and "sculpt" it to make it more palatable? If so, it might not be worth it to change careers at this time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CareerXroads "Sources of Hire" Report/ How Important is Networking in Job Search?

Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler's recently published report from dated March, 2011 contains some very interesting data concerning where new hiring came from in 2010. Not surprising is the fact that nationally, 27.5% of all hires come from Referrals in 2010. This was the number one source of external hires. 24.9% came from Job Boards and 18.8% came from Career Sites. Career Fairs produced only 1.8% of external hires. 50.3% of all vacancies were filled internally. Our Metro area shows some similarities and differences, including the fact that far more of new hirers in this region came through Employee Referral than nationally. There is no question of the importance of networking as a significant source of job leads. Remember that networking, either online or in person, does not happen overnight. Networks must be cared for.