Career exploration-career change done right – so let’s get started.
You’re ready to take the next step in making a career change. Now you have to find the right career for you.
You’ve looked carefully at you talents and skills. You’ve listed all of your interests including what you do not want to do as a career. Now you need to find and gather up all the information the careers in which you have an interest.
Critical career information that you need to uncover in your career research includes: job descriptions, experience requirements, educational needs, current salaries, special training requirements and trends with industries and where you might be employed.
More career information is better than having gaps in your research. The information on the proposed careers can at times be overwhelming. You’ll be able to make sense of it all by taking it one piece at a time. Keep notes and write out possible questions or additional areas of research.
Search the internet and find a national or better yet a local association based on the proposed career. They should be able to answer your questions concerning the career; also, their website will contain additional career information. Normally these associations have regional and national meetings. It may be productive to attend these meeting and get additional questions answers and to network with those working in your targeted career.
The association will have members in your area. Also, search LinkedIn for those working in the career. Make contact with a dozen or so professionals working in the career. Contact them and ask if they would be available for a short, fifteen minutes or so, informational interview. Do some research on how to get the most out of your contact. Write out your questions.
In the informational interview you are not looking for a job but rather you are looking for career information. Ask for referrals on the names of others that may provide you with additional information. It’s polite to send a thank you note. Keep your network informed on your progress.
Be aware that career information is rapidly changing. Industries that were important a few years age are morphing into other activities. Are the careers are keeping pace with the exciting changes?
Additional sources of information in your proposed careers can be found on the internet. Articles, videos, and other information are on a variety of web sites. Look at the job announcements in you proposed career. Web sites of employers who employ individuals in the career could be another source of valuable information.
Job and career internet forums are another great source of career information. You can ask questions and review the career related answers. All will give you current career based information. Moreover, industry trends and projects are discussed in these forums.
You may find that a career at your first look or recommendations from others you thought would be a good fit but you now decide to go in a different direction. Thank yourself in finding this out now rather that a year or two into an unsatisfactory career change. Keep looking, keep gathering information, do your due diligence and you will find the right fit.
Stay flexible; to qualify for the right career might require several interim jobs. Your research will outline the path for you.
Overall career knowledge is power. It will point you in the direction of your dream career, give you information to qualify for the wanted position and make the career change on your terms rather than something you cannot control. Happy hunting and exploring.