Changing Careers

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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There are multiple factors at work that persuade individuals to change careers, from the changing nature of the economy to a shift in what are deemed "valuable" skills. The statistics on changing careers are well documented; studies claim that the average worker today will change careers (not jobs, mind you) seven times in the course of his or her life.

The "new" economy is a global one in which companies are wired together across continents and oceans. Hence, there are more opportunities than ever before to change roles within a given job or industry, or else change industries altogether. The global economy also means that workers' competition no longer comes strictly from their home towns, cities, or states. There may well be an employee in India who's willing to work harder than you and for less pay. Sometimes, then, career changes aren't voluntary but are forced by global economic pressure.

How to Go about Changing Careers

Whether it's low job satisfaction or downsizing that spurs your career change, there are strategies you can use that will help you ease the transition from one career to another. One is to do your due diligence and do it well. Collecting as much information as you can about the career you're considering can only help you in your switch. That means you'll want to speak to as many people in your new field as possible, and not just those who are happy. Take the time to learn about the downsides to your new industry as well, as you'll surely encounter them.

Next, let your network, however big or small it may be, know that you're on the lookout. Contrary to what many job-seekers believe, personal contacts are by far more important than skills when hunting for jobs. Of course, you also need the skills to do the job properly, but the most gifted or accomplished worker in the world will never get hired if his or her resumé is never seen. The lesson: spread the word, provide yourself with the necessary skills, avail yourself of any and all resources, and do so liberally.

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