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Career Change Considerations

By Teena Rose, CPRW, CEIP, CCM,

Most people think about trying out a different career. In fact, studies show that one-third of the American workforce often thinks seriously, during a given year, about leaving their jobs.

The focus of a career change typically centers around a vocation you’ve always been interested in, but could never follow through on pulling the trigger. Maybe you sell insurance, but have always wanted to be a veterinarian. Or you’re in public relations and thought law school was your true calling. Whatever the case, the first major step toward changing careers is a heavy dose of self-analysis.

If taking a chance on another career has become a priority, then it should be a dream job of sorts, or fairly close to it. There are dozens of reasons why people shift gears when it comes to their careers. Some become bored, unfulfilled and lack the motivation they once had in their current job. Others do it to make more money or to fulfill a lifelong dream.

There are no age restrictions when it comes to changing careers, but the most common time it occurs for a woman is in her 40s or 50s, when incentives are different than earlier in life.

“Career transitions at midlife are very different from those we make in our twenties and thirties,” writes Ellen Ostrow, a Ph.D and career coach. “The recognition of our mortality diminishes the importance of status success, money and meeting the expectations of others.”

One of the first steps to take is deciding if career change is really what you desire. A lousy boss and lack of motivation doesn’t always require finding a new career. Finding a way to carve out new challenges within the same industry is a good jumping off point. If that fails, however, start preparing yourself for the transition. And preparation is the key word.

Do the research. Put together as much information as possible about the career – or careers – you’re interested in. Find out pay levels and current trends in that industry. Talk to friends, co-workers and experts in the field. In the age of the Internet, career information is unlimited.

Start by analyzing your functional skills and experience to determine how they would apply to a new career. Make sure you repackage these skills to fit the new field. If you don’t have the proper skills and returning to school is necessary, finding time will be the major stumbling block, so make sure you’re committed to the new career before making the leap.

A revamped resume is needed to avoid the mistake that many midlife career jumpers make of assuming the same resume will work in their new career. The experience you’ve had in your current job may not be as important in your new field. Instead, rework your resume to highlight the qualifications that will target the new career. Employers looking to hire someone (who doesn’t have the work history in their particular field) want an employee with skills that can easily translate.

While you’re still in the transition mode, do what you can to start that second career, whether it involves working part-time a few nights a week or doing volunteer work. Make sure, however, that you don’t commit so much time and energy toward this parallel career that it has a negative impact on your full-time job. Even if you plan on changing careers, you don’t want to antagonize your current employer or burn any bridges.

Leaving your current career can create a fear of the unknown. Don’t let that stop you. It’s more important to take risks and try to achieve what you want out of your work life than staying in a job that’s unfulfilling.


Teena Rose operates a prominent and professional resume writing service, Resume to Referral. She’s authored several career books, including "20-Minute Cover Letter Fixer", "How to Design, Write, and Compile a Quality Brag Book", and "Cracking the Code to Pharmaceutical Sales."


Teena Rose, CPRW, CEIP, CCM
Resume to Referral
7211 Taylorsville Road, Office 208
Huber Heights, OH 45424
Phone: (937) 236-1360
Fax: (937) 236-1351

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