Tips For Making A Career Change
If you are looking into adult education, it may be time for a career change. In many cases, continuing education can supplement you with added skills to better your position and involvement in your current career path. However, many adults find themselves dissatisfied with their current career development, making further education a viable option for those looking to expand their career choice or move on in an entirely new direction.
The following career guide tips can help you decide whether or not a career change is a good idea for you, and how to prepare for your new career planning to ensure a successful transition.
Career Change Tips
Consider the following tips that can help you make a career assessment and decide on whether or not you might benefit from a career change.
1. Current Job Satisfaction. The first step in deciding on a career change is to evaluate your current career satisfaction. Consider which aspects of your current job you like and which ones you dislike. This can help guide you in making a career decision based on those elements which you find satisfying. Be alert to your reactions at work on a daily basis and keep track of your responses. Is it the content of the work, the work environment, or the company for which you work that is causing your dissatisfaction?
2. Assess Your Interests, Values, and Skills. This will ensure that you are not only satisfied in your future career, but that you have adequate skills suited to fulfill the requirements of particular career descriptions. Assessing your skills can also help determine what types of adult learning courses you could benefit from. Consider using resources such as a career test to assist in your career exploration and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Evaluate your past successes such as previous employment and activities that may relate to a career choice in the future. Can your values, interests, and skills be addressed in your current career choice?
3. Career Exploration. Once you have completed your career assessment of your interests, values, and skill set, brainstorm ideas about potential careers that may be better suited for you. You may want to seek advice from your friends, family, network contacts, or a career counseling expert. Resources such as job libraries and online sources can provide you with a list of careers along with career descriptions to help you in your search.
4. Compare Job Fields. Once you have narrowed down some of the career options that most interest you, compare the various fields to assess the benefits and disadvantages of each. This will help you narrow your focus and begin more in depth research regarding this career.
5. Research, Research, Research. Read as much as you can about the career field that interests you. Contact those in the field and arrange informational interviews to gain a better perspective. Talk to anyone you know that can provide answers to questions you may have about the field.
Taking Action In The Field
Before deciding to completely change your career, you may want to take advantage of some opportunities that can help you ease into your new field and determine whether or not that decision is best for you. Consider the following opportunities that may be available to you:
1. Professional Shadowing. Many schools offer professional job shadowing opportunities through the college Career Office. These generally involve alumni volunteers who agree to spend between several hours to several days with individuals interested in observing the work experience of a given field.
2. Volunteer and Freelance Opportunities. You may want to try volunteering or working on a freelance basis in the career field that interests you during your spare time. This can give you a first-hand opportunity to see if your new career choice is suited for you.
3. Bridging Education. Consider education opportunities such as online courses and evening classes that can help you bridge a gap between your career and education background and your new field.
4. Developing Skills. There may be opportunities available at your current job that can help you develop skills. You may be able to sign up for in-house training offered through your company or volunteer to complete a service that you normally would not be asked to do but that is valued in your chosen field. This can provide you with additional experience.
5. Related Roles. Consider a career role that can utilize the knowledge you have already gained through your industry. You may want to think about changing the role you play in the company instead of leaving your workplace. If you have been working as a computer programmer, for instance, you may want to consider a career role in technical sales.