A New Career Direction and You - 10 Steps to a Career Change

As we continue to see national unemployment rates near double-digit percentages many displaced employees are using this time as an opportunity to find a new career. It is not just the down-sized employee that is in search of a new vocation, but in some cases those who are employed, but not happy and have lost interest in their current careers.

Undoubtedly there any number of reasons an individual may seek a new career direction, however regardless of the reasons when initiating a new career change there are 10 important steps that should be considered during the transition process.

1. Examine likes and dislikes - It is important to determine what has brought you to this juncture in your career. Most often it can be linked to those aspects you no longer like in your current career. Or on the other hand, it could be as simple as being visibly excited when doing something that you love. However, if what you would 'like' to do still remain a mystery, a career assessment may aid in this discovery process.

2. Research - Once you have discovered your new passion it is important to research those career fields that center on your choice.

3. Identify Transferable Skills - Just because you are seeking a career change does not mean it is necessary to start from scratch. Identify those skills that can be leveraged in your new career.

4. Networking - Your ability to successfully transition to a new career often will be contingent upon your ability to network with individuals in your new career of interest. This could lead to potential job leads.

5. Select a Mentor - A mentor may have the ability to help you navigate your transition and avoid possible pitfalls. There is also the possibility a mentor may be willing to share business contacts and aid you in building your network.

6. Consider Different Opportunities with Current Employer - Determine if there are any opportunities to utilize current industry knowledge while engaging different skill-sets in another department within your current organization.

7. Obtain Experience - It is important to remember you're now in the initial phase of a new career, so it will be important to gain some experience. However, it may involve working part-time, nights, weekends, volunteering or as temp, but these are all great ways to gain experience and determine if this is indeed the change you're in search of.

8. Education and (or) Training - Based on your desired change it may be necessary to increase your knowledge in the given area. It is important to investigate educational and training opportunities that can lend support in your transition.

9. Understanding Job-Hunting Basics - Be sure to have a good understanding of current trends in resume writing and interviewing techniques if you have not searched for a job in a while. It will most likely be necessary to retool your strategy.

10. Remain Flexible - Often you will need to be flexible during this period. It may be necessary that you relocate and (or) adjust salary expectations. However, don't let these things serve as deterrents. Your happiness depends on it!

A career change is no easy task, therefore the decision should not be taken lightly, as it can potentially have a significant impact on every aspect of your life and those closest to you. Do your homework, take some time to reflect on your current situation and determine where you would like to be.

Good Luck!

Based in Atlanta, GA, Lisa D. Bowie has been writing career-related articles since 2008. Her articles have appeared on Examiner.com. By trade, Lisa is human resources professional and posses over 17 years of experience. She holds a Master of Arts in humanities from Tiffin University and is currently pursuing her M.Ed.

Published At: A New Career Direction and You - 10 Steps to a Career Change