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Looking to Make a Career Change?

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Here are some things to consider!

  • Do you need to change your career, or do you just need to change your job?  What I mean by this, if you are currently working somewhere where you like your position and what you do, then you probably just need to find a new company to work for.  For example, you are a legal secretary working with a law firm, but you are dissatisfied with the employer, then it is probably something as simple as changing the employer.  Or perhaps, you have been doing the same thing for quite some time now, and you are dissatisfied, unfulfilled, and bored—then maybe it is time to do something new.
  • You will want to consider what kind of money you will make if you change your career.  It is good to determine this early on because you may be accustomed to a certain salary.  A good place to look at salary guides is the Bureau of Labor of Statistics,, and  Researching these may help you understand if there is risk or a reward in changing your career.  This will help you decide the length of time it may take for you to reach your salary goals in a new career.  You will also want to factor in vacation, 401K benefits, and health benefits, as this all part of the salary structure.
  • Many people think they may need to go back to school to learn something new.  This may be true if you are looking to make a complete change, and if that is the case, you may want to start thinking about how you can save money, look for grants, or consider what your borrowing needs will be and to make sure those borrowing needs could be managed in the future.  But before you consider those things, think about how you can advance your skill set in other ways, such as taking professional development courses at your current job, or perhaps they will pay for you take some courses from a local college.  Some employers have an educational benefit program.  This is challenging especially for women who have children at home who depend on them, but it can be done.  I have met with women who have gone back to school with children and managed to get degrees or advanced certificates; it was not easy of course, but they are in a much better position today because of their perseverance.
  • Become aware of what you are good at.  It is important to notice what skills can translate into a new career.  And trust me, if you are experienced, you will have many of those to bring in.  They key is to focus on what you are interested in.  The more you focus on this, it may take you one step closer to that career you have always wanted to achieve.
  • Is a career change necessary?  You must ask yourself this question and think long and hard about it.  You must determine what is making you unhappy in your current position.  Is there something you can change in your current position that may bring more satisfaction to you?
  • Another thing to consider is your performance reviews at your current or past jobs.  Are there any issues you need to address with these?  Paying attention to this will assist you in determining what you can prevent or improve upon in your new career.
  • If contemplating a new career, networking is extremely important.  Now is the time create a LinkedIn account to learn about your new career.  This is where you can interview people who are already in the career that you are interested in.  You must get comfortable with networking if you are to learn more about a new profession.  Go to networking events to meet more people and let them know of your interests.  Consider interviewing people in person as well.
  • Consider doing volunteer work.  Apply for positions where you can exhibit your leadership, budgeting, financial, fundraising, or whatever type of skills you may need for your new career.  This will also allow you to network more and meet new people.