Career Change

Sections of this topic

    This topic is about changing from your current carer to a different one. If,
    instead you are interested in advancing in your current career, then see Career Advancement. If you are interested in selecting a
    career, then see Career Planning.

    Sections of This Topic Include

    Make Career Change Work for You
    Career Survival Strategies to Ride the Waves of Change
    Additional Perspectives on Career Change

    Also, consider
    Related Library Topics
    Career Advancement
    Career Planning and
    Job Banks

    Personal Development

    Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Career Change

    In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs
    that have posts related to career change. Scan down the blog’s page to see various
    posts. Also, see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the sidebar of
    the blog or click on “next” near the bottom of a post in the blog.
    The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

    Library’s Career
    Management Blog

    Coaching Blog

    Library’s Human Resources

    Make Career Change Work for You

    © Copyright Marcia Zidle

    Are you looking for more than just a better job?

    Rather, you’re seeking a more rewarding profession, one that better aligns
    with your skills, interests, values, and plans for the future. It will not happen
    overnight. It will take reflection, planning, and motivation. Here are five tips
    for making the transition into a new, rewarding career.

    1. First be sure of your reasons.

    Just because you’re unhappy in your current job isn’t a strong
    enough reason to make a total career break. Carefully analyze whether it is
    your actual career you dislike or whether the problem is your employer, supervisor,
    or workplace environment.

    If you’re unhappy with your boss or the politics of the job, an option
    is to stay with your career choice and try to find another department or division
    to work in. However, after much soul searching, you truly feel you would be
    happier in another career, then start looking.

    2. Decide what’s important.

    Take an honest inventory of your likes and dislikes, and evaluate your skills,
    values, and personal interests. You may want to consider consulting a career
    coach or taking a career assessment to determine what is the right career for
    you. Many people who want to change careers do so to find a balance between
    their personal and professional lives; to get the juices flowing again; or to
    achieve a better mix of meaning, money, and motivation.

    3. Check your qualifications.

    Do you have the necessary experience and education to be considered a qualified
    candidate in another career field? If not, then find a way to bridge the credentials
    gap. This might mean making your goal more long-term while you go back to school
    or receive additional training.

    Also, don’t expect to begin at the same level of seniority in your new
    a career that you held in your old one. You probably will have to take a lower-level job to gain the requisite skills and then move up the ranks. You must
    realize that it’s not starting at the bottom but really starting from
    a place that will give you mobility for career growth and, most importantly,
    career satisfaction.

    4. Look before you leap.

    Be sure to examine all possibilities before attempting a career change. Do
    an information interview with people who are actually in that career field.
    Test the waters to see if you would like that work by volunteering or by doing
    freelance work. You can also meet with a career management professional to
    guide you so that you make a wise career choice. You do not want to jump from
    the frying pan (your present career) into the fire (a career that does not meet
    your expectations).

    5. Update your job search skills.

    When was the last time you looked for a job? If it’s been 5, 10, or more
    years ago, then it is especially important to polish up your job-hunting skills
    and techniques before you get out there. I’ve seen too many good people
    fail because they made the following mistakes:

    They quickly put a resume together without focusing on what they are “selling”;
    they primarily looked online for open positions rather than networking; they
    did not prepare for each interview thinking they can “wing” it;
    and they felt uncomfortable in self – promotion (it’s on my resume,
    why do I have to explain what I did?”)

    Career Success Tip

    Keep in mind that a successful career change can take several months, or longer,
    to accomplish. The keys are a specific plan, a lot of patience, and an attitude
    of perseverance.

    Career Survival Strategies to Ride the
    Waves of Change

    © Copyright Marcia Zidle

    Change is a fact of life. Don’t resist it; thrive in it!

    In these days of takeovers and mergers, of downsizing operations and multiple
    rightsizing, chances are you’re going to be caught up in some form of
    major workplace change at least once in your career. Probably several times!

    Whether it’s a new job or a new boss or a new direction, the best career
    survival strategy is to respond effectively to these four stages of workplace

    Stage 1. Something’s Up: What To Do Before The Change

    If you’re lucky, you’ll have some advance warning and time to prepare.
    But most of the time, you just have an uneasy feeling. There might be lots of
    hushed conversations or closed-door meetings. Top management might seem especially
    busy and inaccessible. Or the rumor mill is running high.

    This is not the time to stay buried behind your desk or in your office hoping
    everything will be OK. Rather get out there, keep informed, and start thinking
    about your options for riding the waves of change.

    Stage 2: Getting Acquainted: The First Couple of Months

    In the first weeks of the transition, take extra care to be visible, productive, and open to change. This is not a good time to go on vacation for two weeks.
    Ask yourself: Is there still a career opportunity here or should I now begin looking
    elsewhere more earnestly? You need to decide to put your energy into making
    a go of it or start to let go.

    If you have a new boss, ask for a meeting to discuss your background, provide
    an update on your projects and find out about the new priorities for your
    team, department, or division. If it’s a restructuring, understand the
    reasons behind it. What is the company dealing with now, that it wasn’t
    dealing with in the past? What goals is it trying to accomplish in the reorganization?
    In what way can you contribute to these new goals?

    What do you see on the horizon? I bet it’s change and more change!

    In these days of takeovers and mergers, of downsizing operations of multiple
    “rightsizing”, chances are that you are going to be caught up in
    some form of major workplace change at least once in your career. Probably many

    Stage 3. Settled In: The Six-Month Benchmark

    Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to gauge your career health.
    Do I feel like an active participant or am I on the sidelines looking in? Have
    I gotten reassuring comments or positive feedback? If you are in the dark, take
    the risk and request a meeting with your boss to discuss your performance.

    You need to be direct. Say, “I’ve been working hard to cooperate
    and adjust to the changes. So how am I doing? Are there things I need to work
    on to be more effective?”

    You may get an indirect response such as: “You’re doing fine, keep
    up the hard work”; or “Let’s set a time to discuss this further.”

    However, don’t be satisfied with an evasive or avoidance answer. Performance
    feedback is essential during times of organizational transition. If all the
    signs are looking good, you can start breathing a sign of relief. But, don’t
    let your guard down completely. The next six months are also very important.

    Stage 4. A Year After Is The Coast Clear?

    By the time you’re a year or more into a major change, it’s reasonable
    to wonder: Has my work life settled down at last? Has the sense of crisis passed?
    If this is the case, great! You’ve come through the storms of change and
    now are going on to calmer times, at least for the short term, – long
    term who knows?

    Or, is the atmosphere still very hectic despite many attempts to try to fix
    what’s not working? Or, is everything on hold again for the nth time waiting
    for someone to make the decision? Or your workload is not easing up but getting
    worse? Sad to say, sometimes things never calm down, especially in troubled companies
    or rapidly changing ones. If this is your scenario, you may decide to take a
    break from the relentless change. You can try to find a calmer port within your
    company or you may need to seriously consider finding a new position somewhere

    Career Success Tip

    Taking control of one’s career sometimes means making some very hard
    decisions. But once a decision is made and action is taken, then you can get
    on with your life. Isn’t that what career management is all about—taking
    charge of one’s destiny?

    Readers, are you currently dealing with a new boss, a direction, or other workplace
    changes? If so, what stage are you in? How well are you doing? Let me hear your

    Additional Perspectives on Career Change

    10-Step Plan to Career Change

    Ways to Conduct a Secret Job Search

    Changing Careers in Midstream
    Unconventional Midlife Career Change Tips
    Career Change Do’s and Don’ts
    Career Change Decision Making – Remember This Vital Piece
    Means Everything in a Resignation Letter

    How to Avoid Impossible Assignments
    Changing Careers at 40: Should You Make a Midlife Career Change?
    Visualize a Career Change Several Steps Ahead

    Career Change Work For You!

    Satisfaction: Is it Time to Stay or Leave?

    Leave Your Job the Classy Way
    Seven Keys to Switching from a Big Company to a Small One
    Knowing When to Say Goodbye
    Financial Considerations When Changing Jobs – Creating a Smooth
    Transition Into a New Career

    Tips for Negotiating an Earn-out
    How to Improve Your Employment Application
    How to Quit Your Job
    6 Reasons You Shouldn’t Quit Without Notice
    Plateau: Feeling Boxed In?

    Jobs: Don’t Have Buyer’s Remorse

    Moves: Will They Advance Your Career?

    Out For These Seven Career Mistakes

    Turning Down a Job Offer
    Am I a Bad Employee or Do All My Past Bosses Stink?
    Why I’m Glad I Got Fired
    Career Change: Don’t Jump From the Frying Pan Into the Fire
    Job Transition: Do It the Right Way
    Build Your Change Muscles! Build Your Career!
    Career Change: Is It the Best Move For You?
    Career Change Without Leaving Your Organization
    Tips For Starting a New Job
    Are You About To Lose Your Job?
    Moving to a New job or Company? Do It Right!

    For the Category of Career Development:

    To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may
    want to review some related topics, available from the link below.
    Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

    Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been
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