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Preparation is key to successful career change

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – Due to the economic downturn, many people find themselves out of a job and wondering what to do next. One option is attempting a career change.

For many of the nation’s younger unemployed workers, such wondering commonly leads to furthering their education. However, middle-aged workers who find themselves the victim of layoffs choose to seek a career change. Those considering such a change should know it won’t be easy, but it could prove rewarding and doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems.

Much like a recent college grad discussing his career plans with a guidance counselor or alumni representative, an adult considering a career change should consult a professional, be it an employment placement specialist or someone who works in the field they desire to enter. A professional can provide an accurate portrayal of the field and give advice or tips as to how best to get their foot in the door.

Arguably the biggest bright spot of getting laid off is for people to get the chance to do an evaluation of what it is they liked or disliked about their old position. Too often workers get caught up in the commitments that come with being an adult and ignore whether or not they’re happy with their job. But a layoff allows time for a careful self-examination, one that should allow them the chance to avoid finding themselves in an unfulfilling career that only pays the bills.

Finding a job isn’t easy. Finding one in an economic climate rife with layoffs is even less so. It helps to have an organized plan of action, including a daily commitment to learning about a new field. They should treat the time off not as a chance to completely relax but a chance to research their new field, find out what it takes to succeed and devote daily time each day to looking for work.

Exploring freelance opportunities can help. A resume with large chunks of time where the job applicant didn’t work is never attractive. Successfully transitioning to a new career might require them do some work for free. Oftentimes, even the most successful freelancers spend large chunks of time doing work they’re not going to be paid for. That’s a part of freelancing. However, staying active, even if they’re not getting paid, is a good way to show they’re serious and committed to their new field.

 

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