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Reinvent Yourself With a New Career
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, "Change is the only constant in life." There may come a point in your life where you feel stuck or just need to change careers. Recareering can feel like a more high-stakes version of job hunting: you’re not just looking for a new workplace, you’re looking for a new YOU. The chance to reinvent yourself professionally can be both thrilling and daunting.
Here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind as you begin your journey to find the new you.
Research is a key aspect of re-careering. If you want to move into a new career you need to know what to expect. Learn what you can of the field you want to enter. If there are opportunities to network or volunteer in your new field, take advantage of them. One way to do that is through conducting informational interviews with experts already in the field, said Sarita Hemmady, adjunct faculty in counseling.
“They can provide information you can’t look up on the internet,” she said. “You may even find a mentor. If you know someone in the field you want to enter, take them out for lunch and bend their ear."
Hemmady also recommends taking a personal inventory. She suggests asking yourself questions like: "What do you like about your current career? What do you enjoy? Why did you stay there? What do you want to change? What is not fitting?"
“Then take that information and look for those pieces in your new career,” she said.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you begin the process of recareering is that you are NOT starting from scratch. Building a new career will require you to develop new skills and expand your knowledge base, but it doesn’t mean you have to disregard everything you’ve learned and mastered before. Try to think of your old career as a base to build upon—a trusty set of familiar tools you’ll have to teach yourself to use in a different way.
The first step to launching a job search in a new field is to take an inventory of your interests. What skills do you have? What career fields spark are attractive to you? What areas of knowledge do you specialize in? Understanding what valuable skills and insights you bring to the table can go a long way toward getting you set up for future success.
Something else to keep in mind: Forbes.com points out that it’s not always a bad thing to be an outsider. Having a lack of experience in a new field can give you an outsider status that you may be able to leverage to your advantage.
Train Yourself Before You Get The Job
Part of the value of taking a self-inventory of your professional abilities is that it can also reveal your weak points. What skills do you lack that would help you move forward into a new career? What training can you take now that will get you career-ready? Getting a degree or certificate of completion can put you on the right track toward entering a new field.
Adjust Your Resume
Yet another reason why it’s good to catalog your strengths before going on a job hunt is that you’ll know what to spotlight on your resume. Update your resume by highlighting past work experience and any certifications, training, or other education you’ve acquired that would be relevant to your new job. Don’t be afraid to bring up volunteer work as well—community work can teach you social and collaborative skills that are relevant across a wide range of professional careers.
Budget And Save
Job searches can take time. You could potentially spend months in-between jobs. If you’re planning on changing careers, take the time to look at your finances and plan out a budget. Try and have some money set aside in savings that can help you through this transitional period.
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