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Stuck In A Career You Don't Like? 5 Steps To Make A Successful Career Switch!

Aug 17, 2007
Making a career switch is never easy . . . especially if you're dissatisfied with the one you've invested in. But it happens. And it's better to be realistic than suffer from an unwanted career.

I remember a customer of mine a few years ago. He was very upset with his career choice. He realized after many years he had made a mistake. I asked him how he knew. He said, "Because I throw up Sunday night thinking about having to go back to my career on Monday morning."

Fortunately, for most people, thinking about making a career switch isn't quite so violent. But it can be distressing . . . especially if you've invested time and education in your career choice.

But, if you've come to the realization that what you're doing right now just isn't right for you, then it's time to take some steps to make a career switch. So, here's what you need to do.

1. Don't act precipitously! If you've made a mistake, jumping into something just so you feel better or to avoid some pain is definitely not the way to go. Take your time to sort out your options.

2. You DO have options! But you'll discover what they are only by doing your homework. You'll discover that what you've got going for you will suggest some directions for you to pursue. But you have to be ready to think outside the box. Don't rely on job descriptions to determine your career path.

3. The first piece of home work is to do a serious self-assessment. Take the time to make a list of your skills, capabilities and assets. Don't think only in terms of your work history. And be sure to include strengths you've acquired outside the job, e.g. people skills, leadership experiences, organizational abilities, etc.

4. Match up your personal profile with the kind of jobs you'd be willing to entertain as part of a new career direction. Think in generic terms. Picture yourself doing jobs you would enjoy and find fulfilling. Do not think specifically about who would hire you.

5. Finally, identify the kind of work environments you would find satisfying. Stay away from naming specific companies. Rather focus on describing the kind of situations you would find most fulfilling, e.g. surroundings, attitudes, physical characteristics, managerial styles, etc.

Once again, you have options. There's no one thing at this stage in your investigation that should be your ultimate career choice. In fact, you can't make a real choice until you have options. So the result of your homework should be to deliberately come up with several optional career directions.

Like I said, making a career switch is never easy. But if you take your time and do it the right way, you'll be gratified to discover there are probably several career directions you could take that make sense. Then, when it comes time to match your profile with specific job opportunities, you'll be in the enviable position of selecting your next job rather than settling for it!
About the Author
Paul Bowley manages EEI, the world-class pioneer in alternative job search techniques and innovative e-business strategies . . . since 1985. Check out THE WORLD'S FASTEST JOB SEARCH PLAN! And grab our stunning FREE REPORT! http://www.fastest-job-search.com
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