Sometimes when you decide what you want to do, you decide you might want to change careers - try something new, more fun, less demanding, whatever is important to you now.
Step 2A. Thinking About a Career Change?
We often limit our options by limiting exposure to ideas and things outside of our daily lives and experiences. The absolutely best job for you may be something you've never heard of or never considered. So, do some research to expand your options:
- MySkillsMyFuture, from the U.S. Department of Labor helps you match your skills with the careers that need those skills, so you start with what you do best (and enjoy doing!) and find the appropriate job from there. Tell them the jobs you've had (that you liked), and they help you connect the dots to a new job or career.
from the U.S. Department of Labor, offers an excellent collection
of information, including a "General Outlook" for employment
in various industries and locations, an "employability checkup"
for you, links to state employment offices (including maps, hours
of operation, and services provided), Web career resources, and
- The Occupational
Outlook Handbook, from U.S. Department of Labor, provides an
amazing amount of useful information on the job market with Career
Guides to Industries as well as Occupations.
- See "What Color Is Your Parachute?" author Dick Bolles' JobHuntersBible Website for
helpful articles and links to sites where you can get help identifying
your skills and interests and the kinds of jobs you will probably
- Assessment tests may be helpful to you. Read the Career Assessments articles to learn more about what they are, how they work, and how they may be able to help you.
- Visit Job-Hunt's Career Changer's Guide to Careers section, and read the articles by Job-Hunt's Career Change Expert Randi Bussin as well as Randi's 2 free ebooks: 5 Steps to Starting Your Career Reinvention and 5 Steps to Implementing Your Career Reinvention.
- Read Job-Hunt's Finding Jobs Online section to
see all the places you can look for jobs - you have many more
options than just Web job sites.
- Use Job-Hunt's Pick Your Employer section to check
out potential employers. You'll find links to articles and research
about employers, employer Web sites, and links to research on
top employers are available.
- In Job-Hunt,
each state's page (find your state in this list of states)
has U.S. Department of Labor job market information for that particular state, usually
including a list of the state's largest employers, occupations
that appear to be growing (lots of opportunity; maybe not too
much competition; probably good pay checks) as well as those that
appear to be declining (fewer opportunities; probably stiff competition
for what jobs there are; probably not-so-great pay checks).
After you understand what you enjoy doing and what you do best, changing your career path may feel like a good idea. Sometimes it's a one-step process where you jump immediately into the new field, but more often it takes time and planning and may require additional training or education.
© Copyright, 1998 - 2012, Susan P. Joyce. All rights reserved.
About the author...
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff "graduate" who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, her company, NETability, Inc. purchased Job-Hunt.org, and Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt since then. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+
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