Goal For Professional Development By: Mandy Fard at https://www.market-connections.net “Creative Commons Photo” Career Change Planning Deciding to change careers is a big plan. Perhaps you have been in a wrong career path. This post is designed to help set you up for career shifting success. The idea is to suggest you take action in as little as 10-15 minutes per day for the next few weeks. Take one action each day from one of the suggested actions — or you can come up with your own task to tackle! There are suggested actions in four categories: Future Orientation Research Mindset Putting Yourself Out There Try to plan and track your activities. Here are three ways to do this: Do one action item each day for 14 days straight Take action for six days each week (no Sundays) for a little more than two weeks Take action for five days each week (no weekends) for just under three weeks Here are suggested actions within each of the areas: Future Orientation Start thinking about the future by examining the past. Reflect on your career journey to date — how you got to where you are today. How did you choose your current career? Spend 15 minutes brainstorming what you want your ideal next job to be like in your new career fields. Take a career assessment test (skills test) to identify opportunities for a future career. Free assessments include the O*Net Interest Profiler (https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip) or the CareerOneStop Skills Matcher (https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/Skills/skills-matcher.aspx). Take a career assessment test (personality test) to help find professions that would be a good fit for your personality. For example, the MBTI® instrument (a paid tool) assesses your personality type and helps you identify career options that might be a fit for you. Learn more here: https://www.mbtionline.com/en-US/Products/For-your-career. Make a list of what you like — and don’t like — about your current job. What do you want to be different in your next career? Take a sheet of paper. On one half, write a list of the skills you already possess. On the other half, make a list of the skills required in your new industry. Spend 30 minutes and identify deficiencies in your current skills that would be needed in your next career. Think about volunteer work you’ve done that might lead you to a new career field. What hobbies and interests do you have that might transfer to your next career? Get important people in your life on board with your desire for a change. Talk with someone close to you about your vision for the future and where you want to go with your career. Set a deadline for yourself for your career change. It can be one month, one year, or longer, but put a date to when you want to be in your new career. Research What skills, education, and experience do you have to offer (not just from your current job, but also consider volunteer work, hobbies, previous roles, etc.)? Take inventory of your competencies. Make a list. Review your strongest skills in O*Net and see which occupations are a match for your skills: https://www.onetonline.org/find/descriptor/browse/Skills/2.A/ Explore your transferable skills and experience using a tool like the CareerOneStop mySkills myFuture tool: https://www.myskillsmyfuture.org. Spend 15 minutes researching a target profession. Use an online tool like the CareerOneStop Occupation Profile: https://www.careeronestop.org/Toolkit/Careers/Occupations/occupation-profile.aspx Make a list of 10 job titles you’d consider in a career change. Google some of the job titles you’re interested in. Narrow down your choices and spend 30 minutes going in-depth on one of the job titles you’d consider in your job search. Research the specifics of “a day in the life” of that job using an online tool such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook – https://www.bls.gov/ooh/ Spend 15 minutes researching what skills and education and/or training you need to move toward your next career. Check out free and low-cost training to boost your skills. Check out the list available here: https://www.careeronestop.org/EmploymentRecovery/ExploreANewCareer/training-options.aspx Make a list of 10 target employers you’d be interested to join in your next career. Spend 15 minutes researching the salary and benefit averages for your desired career. Write down the names of 10 people who might be helpful in making your career change. While you’ll be considering the cost of a career change, create a budget for this change. What do you need to make the transition? Will you be taking a pay cut with this change? How will you handle the loss in income? Develop a plan, cut your expenses, and start saving money now. Spend 30 minutes researching funding/grants to retain for a career change. (For example, if you lost your job in certain professions, some states have grant funding to help you make a change to a different career.) Look into Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs in your state. There are several job training programs available under this program. Consider whether you want to work for yourself in your next career. Research how to find contract work or become self-employed. Remember, freelancing is also considered as self-employment. Mindset Answer the following questions in writing: Why do you want to make a change? What do you want to be different in your next career? Write out a statement — a mission statement — that you can use to guide your career change. It should outline what you want your career to look like and how you will achieve your goal. Create a mental picture of what you want to do next … and then create a physical picture to match it! This can be a photo or image which symbolizes your career goal or even a Pinterest board that incorporates your idea. Think long-term. Really spend some time thinking about your next career and imagining yourself working in that field for the next 10-15 years. Don’t fear the transition. Spend some time dreaming about the future. Putting Yourself Out There Register for a class, training, or degree that will move you towards your next career. Make an appointment with a career counselor to provide an objective point of view on your career change planning. Some even administer career assessments. Set up an informational interview. Arrange a meeting/call to talk to someone who does the job you want to do. Ask one of your contacts if you can “shadow” them at their job to see what a “day in the life” is like in that career. Reach out to your network and ask someone for help with something related to your career change. Start to explore a career change by volunteering. Is there an opportunity to get involved in your new career field by volunteering or interning? Join a LinkedIn Group for the profession you’re targeting. Read, listen, learn. On LinkedIn, follow five of the target companies you identified in your research about your career change. Find a mentor or accountability partner to help you with your career change. Learn how to customize your resume to highlight your transferable skills, experience, training, and education, towards your new career target. About the Author Mandy Fard is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, CMRW) and Recruiter with decades of experience in assisting job seekers, working directly with employers in multiple industries, and writing proven-effective resumes.